Listen Well

Listen well
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When you listen to another person speak, really listen. When you listen, seek to focus your attention not on your own familiar thoughts, but on the new thoughts being presented to you.

Effective listening is difficult, demanding effort. It is very much worth the effort.

When you listen well, you can gain great experience and wisdom quickly, in concentrated form. Listening can transfer great swaths of knowledge from another person’s mind into your own.

Give your mind plenty of opportunities to wander, but not while you’re listening. The opportunity of listening is too valuable to waste.

Those who speak to you are offering to share unique perspectives, thoughts, experiences with you. Graciously accept the offer, and don’t dilute its value by spending the whole time thinking of what you’re going to say in reply.

When you listen, remember to listen with gratitude, respect, and attention. Put forth the effort to listen well, and bring new value into your life that will always be yours.

— Ralph Marston

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Give Yourself a Target

Give yourself a target
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In what specific ways would you most like to experience life today, tomorrowsix months from nowfive years from now? Spell out those goals in clear detail, and focus your life on making them real.

Give yourself a bright and distinct target. You’re already investing your time and effort each moment, each day, so make sure that investment produces a meaningful reward.

You can accomplish pretty much anything, if you’ll just decide what it is and constantly keep that vision in front of you. When you point thoughts, actions, words, and feelings all in the same direction, amazing results materialize.

Your life unfolds according to your priorities. Look around you right now, and see precisely where your past priorities have successfully brought you.

Now, you have the opportunity to choose the priorities that will shape your life going forward. Challenge yourself to decide exactly what those priorities will be, and to stick with them.

Give yourself a target that matters, that excites you and inspires you to live with passion and vigor. Give yourself a target, and create your life according to your highest vision.

— Ralph Marston

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Act instead of Re Act!

Respond with determination
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When life slams you down, respond with determination rather than dejection. Respond with self-empowerment rather than self-pity.

Self-pity wastes your effort and time. Being outraged that the world has hurt you, or someone else, won’t ease the hurt in the least.

Transform that outrage, that pity, into positive action. There is something you can do in response that will improve the situation, and the sooner you do it, the better.

Injustice is awful. Yet being paralyzed by your own outrage just makes the injustice that much worse.

Summon the strength, do the work, to come up with a better response. Challenge yourself to create a positive way forward that will change conditions for the better.

Difficulties will make you stronger, give you great opportunity, if you let them. Point your energy in a positive direction, and actively do what’s best for the life you love.

— Ralph Marston

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What If?

Map of reality
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What if what you’re hoping for, searching for, striving for, is already yours? What if the thing you fear the most does not even exist?

What if your biggest limitation is your habit of seeing yourself in terms of your limitations? What if you are being held prisoner by the stories you tell yourself?

What if you could embrace your most debilitating weakness and transform it into your most powerful strength? What if your most troublesome worry were to dissolve into quiet, humble confidence?

What if you could let go of your need to burnish your image? What if you would stop relentlessly pursuing your lifestyle and start mindfully living your life?

Your map of reality is of your own making, of your own choosing. Your priorities, your assumptions, the actions and results that flow from them are based on that map, on the way you perceive life.

What if seeing life in a little better light, would actually make it better? Perhaps that is worth a bit of thought now and then.

— Ralph Marston

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The Power of Now!

Opportunity to act
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If you’re having trouble taking action, ask yourself this question. Would you rather spend the next few hours creating regrets or creating value?

The opportunity to act is not some distant memory, not some future dream. The opportunity to act is now.

The value of that opportunity diminishes with every minute you wait. Stop waiting and start claiming the benefit of your own focused action.

Conditions may not be perfect, but your procrastination is not going to make those conditions any better. Go with what you have, now, and make of it all you can.

Now is when you can leave the excuses behind. Now is when your next achievement begins.

Remind yourself of the power and possibility in your opportunity to act right now. Without waiting another minute, take that power and make it yours.

— Ralph Marston

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KEEP GOING!!!

Keep going
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You are a work in progress. Today, do the work, make the progress.

You are on the amazing journey that is your life. And the very nature of a journey is to keep going.

When you achieve some success, don’t be so smug and satisfied that you stop making any further effort. Keep going.

If you encounter disappointment, don’t be so dismayed and dejected that you give up. Keep going.

Realize how fortunate it is that you always have more to do. Embrace each opportunity to make a difference, to make new progress, to keep going.

Always there are the new wonders to see, new wisdom to be gained, new experiences to unfold. With ever-growing love for the journey and all it brings, keep going.

— Ralph Marston

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Life changes
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Life changes, circumstances change, and so can you. If you have been defeated, you don’t have to remain defeated.

Yes, accept that things are the way they are. But don’t be so zealous in your acceptance that you assume nothing will ever change again.

Change can be a great opportunity when you see it and make use of it as an opportunity. Otherwise, if you simply sit still and hope to avoid the changes, those changes are likely to destroy everything you care about.

Life is dynamic. To be successful in life, you must be just as dynamic, perhaps more so.

Accept that life is always changing, then find ways to get yourself out ahead of those changes. Be willing to change, open to change, enthusiastic about its benefits, and you’ll discover you’re quite good at it.

The dynamic nature of existence is literally what keeps you alive. Embrace change, expand on it, extend it, and you’ll create many new ways to thrive.

— Ralph Marston

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