7 Zen Habits of Highly Efficient Minds

Zen Habits of Highly Efficient Minds

Zen habits are simple lifestyle habits that have the potential to radically alter the efficiency of our minds and the potential of our lives.  We can easily integrate these habits into our daily routines to keep our minds sharp and efficient for years to come.  Here are seven ways to keep a great head on your shoulders:

First we form habits, then they form us.
– Rob Gilbert

1.  Challenge your mind with new activities, skills and information.

The primary function of the human mind is its ability to absorb information and adapt to challenging unfamiliar environments.  Do you remember the old saying ‘use it or lose it?’  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  If you don’t use your mind, you will lose your mind.  So broaden your horizons, learn new skills and challenge your mind every single day.

2.  Your mind is part of your body.  Fuel, exercise and rest your body properly.

The human brain accounts for roughly 2% of the total mass of the human body, yet it consumes over 20% of the oxygen and nutrients the human body intakes.  Therefore, it makes sense to fuel your body with healthy food and keep your blood oxygen levels high with regular exercise.  Also, a tired mind is rarely productive, so get yourself enough sleep every night.  For a practical guide on maintaining a healthy, fit body I recommend The 4-Hour Body.

3.  Pay attention now.  Concentrate on the present.

People often obsess themselves with the past and the future.  But life is happening right now.  You can’t learn something or remember something that’s happening now if your mind is stuck in another time.

It takes about eight seconds of intense focus to process a new piece of information into your long-term memory.  So don’t let your life and your mind slip away.  Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, practice being and living in the present moment.  Remember, right now is the only moment guaranteed to you.  Right now is life.  Don’t miss it.  The Power of Now is a brilliant resource on this topic.

4.  If something requires your attention in the future, write it down in a trusted location.

The more miscellaneous commitments you try to juggle in your mind, the less efficient your mind becomes.  There’s absolutely no reason to memorize to-do lists, general reminders and most supplemental information.  That’s a huge waste of brainpower that could be spent more wisely on learning something new (see bullet #1).  So put your mind at ease by writing down these bits of information in a trusted location that can be easily accessed in the future.

5.  Rehearse information frequently – ‘over-learn.’

In a nutshell, over-learning is the continued practice of material or skills long after the material or skills have been mastered.  The primary goal is information retention – to practice something until it becomes second nature to you, like an automatic function of who you are.

Over-learning is frequently used by people who make public speeches or those who must perform certain functions on the spot with little support or external assistance.  For example, a concert pianist doesn’t stop learning a piece of music she will perform once she initially masters it.  She keeps practicing it so that it’s automatic and there’s little possibility of forgetting it when she performs in front of a large audience.

You can easily apply the concept of over-learning in your own life by reviewing what you’ve learned the same day you learn it and at regular intervals thereafter – something researchers call ‘spaced rehearsal.’  And once you over-learn whatever it is you’re studying, you’ll always be prepared to employ the information or skill at a moment’s notice.

6.  Develop and nurture long-lasting, stimulating relationships.

Human beings are social creatures.  Regular interaction with close friends and family is regarded by most mental health professionals as the number one source of happiness in a human being’s life.  When the human mind is happy, it is less stressed.  And a less stressed mind is a more efficient mind.

7.  Be motivated, keep a positive attitude and find something to smile about.

Each one of the six points above has the ability to make your mind more efficient (and change your life).  But when you combine them with positive thinking their beneficial effects increase exponentially.

Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  The mind must believe it can do something before it is capable of actually doing it.  So be aware of your mental self-talk.  We all talk silently to ourselves in our heads, but we aren’t always conscious of what we’re saying or how it’s affecting us.  Start listening to your thoughts.  If you hear negative thoughts, stop for a second and replace them with positive thoughts.

As the Dalai Lama once said, “The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.”  For some practical positive thinking guidance, I recommend reading The Power of Positive Thinking.

Final Thoughts

Now remember, what counts the most is not what you learned by reading this article (or any article for that matter), but how you apply this knowledge.  You must take action.  So start small, but start now.

Choose one of the seven bullet points above that speaks to you the loudest and practice it for a few minutes today, tomorrow and every day for the next several months.  Eventually, one day, without even thinking about it you’ll start doing it automatically.  And you’ll suddenly realize that these short practice sessions have evolved into a permanent, internalized, zen habit.

Photo by: Epi Longo

10 Surefire Ways To Live Below Your Full Potential

Ways To Live Below Your Full Potential

This guest post was written by Celes Chua.

Do you know that most people never utilize more than 0.1% of their true potential in their lifetime?

It’s true.  The thing is, human potential is unlimited.  Unlike computers, you’ll never come across a situation where your brain says the hard drive is full.  You can constantly push your limits, reaching greater heights, only to find that you’re not even reaching a fraction of your true worth!  Believe it or not, you harness more power than you can ever imagine.

Unfortunately, many do not utilize their true potential, and lay it to waste by engaging in tasks that are a poor use of their time and energy.  Here are 10 sure-fire ways to live below your true potential:

1.  Harp on the past instead of focusing on the present.

Some people spend their lives living in the past.  They lament about what has been, what they could have done, and why they didn’t do that.  However, the past is the past, and no matter how much time we spend thinking and lamenting about it, it doesn’t change anything.  To spend time moping about what has been is to waste the person you can be.

There were times in the past when I wondered how things would have been if I did X instead of Y.  Or if I did Z instead of Y.  However, after that I’d ask myself, “How would this change anything?”  Me sitting here and thinking about the past does absolutely nothing to change things and improve my life.  Instead, it is only by thinking forward and taking action that I’m able to live a truly fulfilling life.

What kind of future do you want to create?  What actions can you take to create this ideal future?  What have you learned from the past that will help you in this journey?  Asking and acting on questions like these will help you to maximize your present moment so you can live your best life going forward.  For some practical guidance on living in the present, I recommend The Power of Now.

2.  Get caught up in the details vs. the big picture.

If you’re a perfectionist, you might find yourself caught up with perfecting details on a regular basis.  If so, you’re not alone – I’m the same way.  I spend a lot of time editing the nitty-gritty, so that everything can be perfect and the way I envision it to be.  For example in my articles, I can spend an hour or more looking for the perfect photo that expresses the exact intention of my article.  I can spend hours just improving my blog and forums so that my readers can get the perfect experience.

However, I have come to realize that by spending all my time on the details, I’m not making the best use of my time.  According to the 80/20 principle, 80% of the results we can achieve comes from 20% of our actions.  In trying to achieve the remaining 20% to get the perfect 100% outcome, we have to spend 80% more effort!

Some of us may think that we should do everything to achieve the best outcome.  While I agree with this, it fails to hold true outside of certain situational contexts.  For example, while it may be gratifying to get the best picture for each blog article, the extra time spent looking for that best picture prevents me from working on higher value tasks, such as writing new books or creating new challenges for my readers.  It goes without saying that one hour spent on the latter adds more value than one hour spent looking for a picture.

By looking at the big picture, it helps you realize what does matter and what doesn’t so that you can then channel your energy accordingly.  The Gifts of Imperfection is a good read on this topic.

3.  Let yourself be affected by minor issues.

Sometimes we may be affected by a hurtful comment or discouraged by a small setback.  While these emotions are justified, often times these events are insignificant in the long run.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  5 years?  10 years?  30  years?”  If not, then it’s probably not worth your energy to think about these things.  Concentrate on things that do matter in the long run instead.

4.  Blame others for your plight.

Is there anything you’re blaming others for in your life?  Are you blaming the economy for not getting the job you want?  Your parents for giving you “fat” genes?  Your boss for your workload?  The world for lack of opportunities around you?  The universe for not giving you the life of your dreams?

The extent to which you can live your dream life depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame someone/something for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility.  You give others power over that part of your life.  For example, if you blame your parents for your obesity, you’ll continue to remain obese because in your mind they are the reason why you’re obese.  You’ll never have the power to change the situation until you take responsibility for it.  When you take 100% responsibility for your life, be it your career status, your health, your relationship status, your finances, your friendships, etc, that’s when you’re set to achieve the life of your dreams.

5.  Complain.

It’s okay to complain once in a while as a way to vent, but doing it too often makes you a magnet for negativity.  Whenever you complain, you give your power away to the universe.  For every second you spend complaining, that’s one second you could have spent creating the life you want.  Rather than lament, think about the actions you can take to improve your situation instead.  Every time you do, that’s one step toward the life you’ve been dreaming about.

6.  Try to do everything by yourself.

Are you someone who likes to do everything yourself?  So do I – but over the years I realize that this prevents me from achieving more.  In trying to do everything, including the nitty-gritty, less important details (see #2), that means you’re not able to do the higher level, important things like your biggest goals and dreams.  Start by delegating, outsourcing or removing the less important tasks and scaling yourself up to do the more important ones.  You’ll notice a big difference in your productivity.

7.  Set small goals.

Many people set small goals because they’re afraid to fail.  Actually what they’re really afraid of is to realize that they’ve always had all the power to achieve everything they want and that they have wasted their own time and dreams.  You have all the potential and power in this world to achieve everything you want.  Stop settling for less and set your highest goals today.  You owe it to yourself.

8.  Bottle up unhappiness.

Bottling up your emotions is like creating a bomb that will eventually self-implode.  Every time you bury an emotion, you’re weighing yourself down with baggage.  The best way to deal with your emotions, whether happy ones or unhappy ones, is to lay them out on the table and face them.  Don’t hide from your problems.  When you do you’re just hiding from yourself.  I found a great way to clear emotional baggage is to use the brain dumping exercise, where you dump your emotions in a journal for about 10-15 minutes.  Try it – you’ll feel lighter almost immediately.

9.  Think that you cannot do it.

As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.”  There is nothing more powerful in the world than our beliefs.  Our beliefs are the lenses we use to see the world.  If we think we don’t have the power, then our minds will find the evidence to support that thought.  If we think we have the power to achieve what we want, then similarly, our minds will automatically lock down on all the evidence that supports that thought.

Our limitations have little to do with the world, society, people, or anything like that – our limitations have always been within us – our beliefs.  My personal motto is that as long as there’s the will, there’s always a way.  Nothing is impossible to achieve in this world.  For some practical positive thinking guidance, I recommend The Magic of Thinking Big.

10.  Procrastinate on your goals.

Procrastination is the best way to bury your potential.  Do you want your goals to never come true?  Sure, procrastinate on them.  I’ve never in my life seen a happy procrastinator.  Everyone I know who procrastinates usually holds a heavy heart, because deep down they want to achieve their goals.  Deep down they know they are meant to live their dreams.  So stop procrastinating.  Start by first identifying what you’re passionate about, then go from there.  As long as you’re doing what you love, you can never go wrong.

Be sure to check out my past guest posts on Marc and Angel:

About the author: Celes writes at The Personal Excellence Blog, for people who are passionate about achieving their highest potential and living their best life. Get her free ebook 101 Things To Do Before You Die by signing up for her free newsletter. Check out her articles: 101 Ways To Live Life To The Fullest and 101 Important Questions To Ask Yourself in Life.

Photo by: Norma Desmond – Book recommendations by: Marc

52 Monday Morning Stress Reduction Mantras

Monday Morning Stress Reduction

Here are 52 Monday morning stress reduction mantras – one for each week of the year.  I choose one Mantra every Monday morning and sit silently for a few moments, repeating it slowly in my mind as if I were meditating.  I also write the mantra on a post-it note and stick it next to my computer monitor for the duration of the week.  This weekly ritual has helped me reduce unnecessary stress in my life by reminding me to keep things simple and within a reasonable perspective.

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.
– Sydney J. Harris

  1. Everything I do is by choice.  There is always another option.
  2. I will strive to be the best I can be, but I will never try to be someone I’m not.
  3. I must keep dreaming.  Wanting what I don’t think I can have is the first step to making my dreams a reality.
  4. I won’t use where I’ve been to justify where I am.  I will use where I am to jump-start where I’m going.
  5. Right now is the only guaranteed moment in my life.  I will make the best of it.
  6. Think big.  Start small.  One bite of the elephant at a time.
  7. I will prioritize my obligations and do the important things first.
  8. I will not try to please everyone.  I will simply do what I know is right.
  9. The more productive I am, the luckier I will become.
  10. There is nobody else exactly like me, with my exact abilities, talents and ideas.
  11. I’m not supposed to have all the answers.
  12. Laughing, crying, joy and anger – all are vital, all make me human.
  13. I can’t change who I am.  I can only change what I know and how I apply this knowledge.
  14. I will slow down and become conscious of life’s simple pleasures.
  15. I will focus more on less.  I will get rid of stuff I do not use.
  16. I will not try to read other people’s minds.  I will not make other people try to read mine.  I will communicate effectively.
  17. I can help myself by helping those around me.
  18. I will take ownership of my actions so my actions never own me.
  19. Every person has a unique definition of success.  To me, success means…
  20. I will never make decisions in a state of emotional haste.
  21. If I want to remember it, I will write it down in a trusted location.
  22. I will do something today that makes me happy.
  23. Everyone doesn’t have to like me and I don’t have to like everyone.
  24. The one with nothing to hide is always the one left standing tall.
  25. My habits define my life.
  26. I will say no when I should.
  27. I will stand firm by my values without senselessly promoting them.
  28. We are all weird in our own way.  This makes life beautiful.
  29. Everyone has a story.  There’s a reason why people are the way they are.  I will appreciate them just the way they are.
  30. I cannot make someone love me.  I can only be someone who can be loved.
  31. The biggest mistake I can make is doing nothing because I’m scared to make a mistake.
  32. Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
  33. What other people think of me isn’t that important.
  34. If I want to believe in myself more I will start doubting others less.  Because where I most easily doubt others is where I most easily doubt myself.
  35. I will ask questions if I’m not sure.
  36. I will let go of things I can’t change and instead concentrate on things I can.
  37. There are extraordinary things going on in my life.  I have a lot to be thankful for.
  38. Today is a new beginning – a chance for me to do something extraordinary.
  39. No matter how small, I will celebrate my successes today.
  40. I will thank people who have helped me and I will return the favor as soon as I am able.
  41. There are ideas, products and cultures I do not yet understand.  I will keep an open mind.
  42. The most important things in my life are my health, my family and friends, and my education.  Everything else is secondary.
  43. There are thousands of little things that just aren’t worth fighting for – I will let them go.  I will choose my battles wisely.
  44. I will stay out of other people’s drama and not needlessly create my own.
  45. I will always be honest with myself and others.
  46. Every mistake I make is progress.  I must learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of others.
  47. I will treat everyone with the same level of respect I would give to my grandfather and the same level of patience I would have with my baby brother.
  48. Nothing is permanent.  However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.
  49. Life is short and people are not perfect.  I will forgive myself.  I will forgive others.
  50. Missing a once-in-a-lifetime chance leads to regret, or creativity.  Because what can’t be redone can still be outdone.
  51. No matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Either I succeed or I learn something.  Win-Win.
  52. I will not waste my time on jealously.  I’m in competition with one person and one person only – myself.  I’m competing to be the best I can be.

Please feel free to edit this list to meet your own needs.  I’ve made a few modifications myself over the past few years.  Also, for a great read on reducing stress I recommend Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

Photo by: noelty kay

10 Simple Truths Smart People Forget

Simple Truths Smart People Forget

Some of the smartest people I know continuously struggle to get ahead because they forget to address a few simple truths that collectively govern our potential to make progress.  So here’s a quick reminder:

#1 – Education and intelligence accomplish nothing without action.

It doesn’t matter if you have a genius IQ and a PhD in Quantum Physics, you can’t change anything or make any sort of real-world progress without taking action.  There’s a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it.  Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.  It’s as simple as that.  For some practical guidance on taking action, I highly recommend The Now Habit.

#2 – Happiness and success are two different things.

I know an extremely savvy businesswoman who made almost a million dollars online last year. Every entrepreneur I know considers her to be wildly successful.  But guess what?  A few days ago, out of the blue, she told me that she’s depressed.  Why?  “I’m burnt out and lonely.  I just haven’t taken enough time for myself lately,” she said.  “Wow!” I thought.  “One of the most successful people I know isn’t happy.”

I also know a surfer who surfs almost all day, every day on the beach in front of our condo complex in San Diego.  He’s one of the most lighthearted, optimistic guys I’ve ever met – always smiling from ear to ear.  But he sleeps in a van he co-owns with another surfer and they both frequently panhandle tourists for money.  So while I can’t deny that this man seems happy, I wouldn’t classify his life as a success story.

“What will make me happy?” and “What will make me successful?” are two of the most important questions you can ask yourself.  But they are two different questions.

#3 – Everyone runs their own business.

No matter how you make a living or who you think you work for, you only work for one person, yourself.  The big question is:  What are you selling, and to whom?  Even when you have a full-time, salaried, ‘Corporate America’ position, you are still running your own business.  You are selling one unit of your existence (an hour of your life) at a set price (the associated fraction of your salary) to a customer (your employer).

So how can you simultaneously save your time and increase your profit?  The answer is slightly different for everyone.  But it’s an answer you should be seeking.  The 4-Hour Workweek is a good read on this topic.

#4 – Having too many choices interferes with decision making.

Here in the 21st century where information moves at the speed of light and opportunities for innovation seem endless, we have an abundant array of choices when it comes to designing our lives and careers.  But sadly, an abundance of choice often leads to indecision, confusion and inaction.

Several business and marketing studies have shown that the more product choices a consumer is faced with, the less products they typically buy.  After all, narrowing down the best product from a pool of three choices is certainly a lot easier than narrowing down the best product from a pool of three hundred choices.  If the purchasing decision is tough to make, most people will just give up.

So if you’re selling a product line, keep it simple.  And if you’re trying to make a decision about something in your life, don’t waste all your time evaluating every last detail of every possible option.  Choose something that you think will work and give it a shot.  If it doesn’t work out, choose something else and keep pressing forward.

#5 – All people possess dimensions of success and dimensions of failure.

This point is somewhat related to point #2 on happiness and success, but it stands strong on its own as well…

Trying to be perfect is a waste of time and energy.  Perfection is an illusion.

All people, even our idols, are multidimensional.  Powerful business men, polished musicians, bestselling authors, and even our own parents all have dimensions of success and dimensions of failure present in their lives.

Our successful dimensions usually encompass the things we spend the most time doing.  We are successful in these dimensions because of our prolonged commitment to them.  This is the part of our lives we want others to see – the successful part that holds our life’s work.  It’s the notion of putting our best foot forward.  It’s the public persona we envision as our personal legacy:  “The Successful ABC” or “The Award Winning XYZ.”

But behind whichever polished storyline we publically promote, there lies a multi-dimensional human being with a long list of unprofessed failures.  Sometimes this person is a bad husband or wife.  Sometimes this person laughs at the expense of others.  And sometimes this person merely takes their eyes off the road and rear-ends the car in front of them.

#6 – Every mistake you make is progress.

Mistakes teach you important lessons.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.  The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.

So don’t hesitate – don’t doubt yourself.  In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance.  You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Most of the time you just have to go for it!

And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Either you succeed or you learn something.  Win-Win.  Remember, if you never act, you will never know for sure, and you will be left standing in the same spot forever.

#7 – People can be great at doing things they don’t like to do.

Although I’m not suggesting that you choose a career or trade you dislike, I’ve heard way too many smart people say something like, “In order to be great at what you do, you have to like what you do.”  This just isn’t true.

A good friend of mine is a public accountant.  He has told me on numerous occasions that he dislikes his job – “that it bores him to death.”  But he frequently gets raises and promotions.  At the age of 28, out of nearly a thousand Jr. Accountants in his division, he’s one of only two who were promoted to be Sr. Accountants this past year.  Why?  Because even though he doesn’t like doing it, he’s good at what he does.

I could come up with dozens of other examples just like this, but I’ll spare you the details.  Just realize that if someone dedicates enough time and attention to perfecting a skill or trade, they can be insanely good at doing something they don’t like to do.  For an insightful read in this department, I highly recommend The Talent Code.

#8 – The problems we have with others are typically more about us.

Quite often, the problems we have with others – our spouse, parents, siblings, etc. – don’t really have much to do with them at all.  Because many of the problems we think we have with them we subconsciously created in our own mind.  Maybe they did something in the past that touched on one of our fears or insecurities.  Or maybe they didn’t do something that we expected them to do.  In either case, problems like these are not about the other person, they’re about us.

And that’s okay.  It simply means these little predicaments will be easier to solve.   We are, after all, in charge of our own decisions.  We get to decide whether we want to keep our head cluttered with events from the past, or instead open our minds to the positive realities unfolding in front of us.

All we need is the willingness to look at things a little differently – letting go of ‘what was’ and ‘what should have been,’ and instead focusing our energy on ‘what is’ and ‘what could be possible.’

#9 – Emotional decisions are rarely good decisions.

Decisions driven by heavy emotion are typically misguided reactions rather than educated judgments.  These reactions are the byproduct of minimal amounts of conscious thought and primarily based on momentary ‘feelings’ instead of mindful awareness.

The best advice here is simple:  Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence.  Slow down and think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.

#10 – You will never feel 100% ready when an opportunity arises.

The number one thing I persistently see holding smart people back is their own reluctance to accept an opportunity simply because they don’t think they’re ready.  In other words, they believe they require additional knowledge, skill, experience, etc. before they can aptly partake in the opportunity.  Sadly, this is the kind of thinking that stifles personal growth.

The truth is nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow emotionally and intellectually.  They force us to stretch ourselves and our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.  And when we don’t feel comfortable, we don’t feel ready.

Just remember that significant moments of opportunity for personal growth and development will come and go throughout your lifetime.  If you are looking to make positive changes in your life you will need to embrace these moments of opportunity even though you will never feel 100% ready for them.

Photo by: Alemdag

40 Extraordinary Things Happening Right Now

Extraordinary Things Happening Now

Right now is a phenomenon.  Right now extraordinary things are happening.

Right now…

  1. A soldier of sorts is diligently fighting the fight so you don’t have to.
  2. Someone who suffered from a severe injury last year is back on their feet.
  3. A small group of people are building something that will soon make the impossible possible.
  4. Somewhere on Earth a double rainbow is stretched from one end of the horizon to the other.
  5. One of the next Billboard-chart-topping musical artists is patiently rehearsing in her garage.
  6. A piece of literature is being written that will eventually change your perspective on life.
  7. Young children all over the world are singing and dancing before they even realize there is anything that isn’t music.
  8. A friend is helping a friend rise above thoughts of suicide.
  9. Someone is thinking what you’re thinking, but hasn’t said anything yet either.
  10. Two people in your hometown are falling in love.
  11. Somewhere someone is admiring a breathtaking sunrise, and somewhere else a surreal sunset.
  12. People of various religious backgrounds are in temples, churches, mosques and other places of worship praying, wholeheartedly, for world peace.
  13. Someone who has struggled with their weight for the last several years is standing on a scale and smiling.
  14. Hundreds of cute elderly couples are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
  15. A baby girl just took her first few steps without falling.
  16. Two best friends are laughing so hard they aren’t even making any noise.
  17. A future world leader is in grade school at recess.
  18. Someone is in the process of sincerely forgiving a seemingly unforgivable act.
  19. There’s a kid studying hard somewhere who aspires to get to where you are in life.
  20. A firefighter is running into a burning building to rescue a perfect stranger.
  21. Someone in your vicinity genuinely wants to be your friend.
  22. A young mom is lying in a hospital bed and holding her newborn baby twins for the very first time.
  23. Someone is taking a shower and singing happily at the top of their lungs.
  24. There is someone out there who smiles when they think of a specific moment they once shared with you.
  25. An alcoholic just celebrated one full year of sobriety.
  26. Volunteers in major cities all over the world are working at homeless shelters caring for those who are less fortunate than themselves.
  27. A young man is pulled over on the side of the road helping a young woman change a flat tire.
  28. A high school athlete just broke her own personal record.
  29. Two teenagers just received their very first kiss ever from each other.
  30. A husband and wife who were drowning in debt five years ago proudly hold a balance of zero on their credit cards.
  31. Someone is hugging a friend who desperately needs it.
  32. A new small business owner just wrapped up his first profitable year working for himself.
  33. A grandfather is holding his granddaughter’s hand and they’re both smiling from ear to ear.
  34. Someone just placed their spare change in the charity collection cup at the grocery store.
  35. A small group of friends are sitting around a table sharing funny stories and cheerfully reminiscing about the good old days.
  36. A breast cancer patient just found out her cancer is in complete remission.
  37. Someone out there is missing you and looking forward to your next visit.
  38. Honest people are working for various government entities to help protect your basic human rights and civil liberties.
  39. An emergency room surgeon is in the middle of saving his patient’s life.
  40. Someone is holding the door open for the person behind them.

Right now is a new beginning.  Right now is an opportunity.

Do something extraordinary.

If you enjoyed this article and are seeking further inspiration, I highly recommend Gives Me Hope: 127 Most Inspiring Bite-Sized Stories.

Photo by: NASA