BEAUTIFUL THOUGHTS

When I Asked God for Strength
He Gave Me Difficult Situations to Face

When I Asked God for Brain & Brown
He Gave Me Puzzles in Life to Solve

When I Asked God for Happiness
He Showed Me Some Unhappy People

When I Asked God for Wealth
He Showed Me How to Work Hard

When I Asked God for Favors
He Showed Me Opportunities to Work Hard

When I Asked God for Peace
He Showed Me How to Help Others

God Gave Me Nothing I Wanted
He Gave Me Everything I Needed

Source:  Swami Vivekananda

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10 STEP TO COURAGEOUS

Leadership isn’t just for those with the title or position of leadership. Every person, in any given situation, is a leader of something. You may not have the prestige or salary, but there is no doubt that you carry some leadership responsibilities, however small they may be.

Very few leaders start at the top. They start somewhere way down the ladder and work their way up. The difference between them and the next person is that they exhibit strong leadership characteristics. Now, not everyone is a natural born leader, but we all lead in various ways. Whether you’re trying to get to the top, or simply being successful where you are, there are several aspects of your own personal development that must be achieved in order be effective as a leader at any level.

John Maxwell provides 10 steps to developing courageous leadership:

“Convictions that are stronger than my fears”

A leader is one who overcomes their fears. This may be fears of stepping out, fears of trying something new, or even a fear of standing up to what you know is right. Most everyone has convictions but many are too timid to stand up when those convictions are challenged. To succeed as a leader your convictions must overrule your fears.

“Vision that is clearer than my doubts”

For any leader, vision is essential. A leader must be able to see where they are now, and look ahead to where they strive to be. While any vision comes with doubt, the doubt cannot be paralyzing to achieving the vision.

“Spiritual sensitivity that is louder than popular opinion”

Many people try to check their spirituality at the door when it comes to work and leadership, when in actuality they are inseparable. Spirituality is the core of who you are. Unfortunately, many allow trends, popular opinion, or even a louder voice in the room hold sway over what they truly know and believe in their heart. Spiritual strength is essential to establishing a firm moral foundation that cannot be blown over or toppled by the voices around them.

“Self-esteem that is deeper than self-protection”

Protecting oneself from outside forces and influences is a natural reaction. But sometimes people allow that to come at the expense of their own self-esteem. They protect themselves by going along and not standing out. This is contrary to true leadership. Leaders must be able to stand out and, by doing so, put themselves in a vulnerable position. Having the self-esteem to stick to your core convictions may leave you vulnerable, but no true leader ever succeeded under a roof of self-protection.

“Appreciation for discipline that is greater than my desire for leisure”

Greatness (or even desired goodness) can rarely be achieved without a measure of self-discipline. We all want and need leisure time, but those who stand head and shoulders above others almost universally have something in common. They are willing to sacrifice some of their precious leisure time for those things that help them grow mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

“Dissatisfaction that is more forceful than the status quo”

While I’m a firm believer in learning to be content where we are, there must also be a measure of dissatisfaction with things always being the same. Contentment helps us learn to survive and be happy with what we have. Dissatisfaction helps propel us forward to better things that we know can be achieved. While we cannot live in a state of unhappy dissatisfaction, we can use that dissatisfaction to grow our measure of success.

“Poise that is more unshakable than panic”

Nobody likes a panicky leader. While any leader may become worried or distressed, how they handle those situations says a lot about them. Keeping cool under pressure produces a calmness that spreads within an organization, allowing everybody to think with a clear head and develop strategies that will bring you through any crisis. Keep in mind, however that poise without action is just as devastating as panic… it just takes longer to feel the results.

“Risk-taking that is stronger than safety-keeping”

Leadership itself is a risk. There is no safety in standing up or stepping out when everybody else is just sitting around. Sometimes the risk is mental or emotional. Other times the risk will be financial. But there are very few profitable investments that don’t require some measure of risk. True leaders understand that risk is a part of the job.

“Actions that are more robust than rationalization”

It’s possible to rationalize your way out of anything. The problem is rationalizations reduce us to inaction rather than action. Nothing ever gets accomplished when we can find all the reasons not to do it rather than looking at why it needs to be done. Focus on the goals and find ways to to get there, instead of reasons not to try.

“A desire to see potential reached more than see people pleased”

Every person has potential for greatness. The biggest obstacle to such greatness is often those who we surround ourselves with. While we cannot put aside the needs of our friends and family for our own selfish ambitions, we cannot please everybody all of the time. Nor can you allow others to hold you back from achieving the success you deserve.

Leading is rarely ever easy. Some have natural ability, for others it must be developed. But every leader faces the same trials and struggles. Learning to overcome the roadblocks and other obstacles that often try to set us back is essential if we are going to reach our fullest potential.

Courageous leadership means finding ways to succeed regardless of our circumstances. It means putting ourselves out there, facing our fears, doubts and potential ridicule all for the greater good. While many people may not like what is required to become a leader, very few regret what they have to go through to achieve it.

Source: John Maxwell

HOW THE WORLD WORKS

Too many people these days are so preoccupied with pixels, and all of the other fake things in the world. They think in terms of Farmville, and how the natural world is portrayed in the screen savers where fish jump out of the water every x number of seconds. This is not actually how the world works, whether they realize it to be the case or not. In real life, the world is not squares of glowing light (although quantum physicists might say something along those lines), and it has a lot more variables to it than just 0 and 1. A major part of educating our young people is to show them this, and make sure they understand it.

One vital part of understanding how the natural world works involves an art that is nearly lost- unplugging all of the electronic gadgets that plug into a wall, and confiscating all of the ones that we keep in our pockets. While going off to frolic and explore the woods and the waves may not be how most people think of spending their days anymore, they are great ways to experience how the world actually works. It’s the simple questions that children ought to be asking- what is that creature, why do the waves move that way, why do things look blue when they’re really far away?

When we lose the simple questions of life, we lose a large part of ourselves. We lose a lot of the very nature of what makes us human. We were not originally designed (nor did we naturally evolve) just to sit in front of a glowing box and punch in commands, while our friends do the same thing a great distance away. We were meant to interact with our friends, and to explore and enjoy (and yes, learn from) the natural world around us. When children take the time to do this, glowing boxes aren’t quite so cool anymore.

Source: Educational Enviroments 

Twenty-First Century History

2000 

Final Peanut comic strip published. Largest ever corporate merger as AOL buys Time-Warner for $162 billion. Vladimir Putin elected President of Russia. George W Bush defeats Al Gore to become US President. The Tate Modern opens in London. Summer Olympics is held in Sydney, Australia. Reality TV introduced in the form of Survivor, based on Swedish game show Operation Robinson.

 

2001

NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lands on asteroid 433 Eros, a first. Dale Earnhardt killed during Daytona 500 race. 32-year old Erik Weihenmayer of Boulder, Colorado, becomes first blind person to reach summit of Mount Everest. Wikipedia started. On September 11, Al Qaida terrorists fly jet aircraft into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, killing around 3,000 people. The US launch against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Act of the War on Terrorism is signed by President Bush. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the movie, debuts.

 

2002

 Euro banknotes and coins released. Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, Utah. New order of insects, Mantophasmatodea, announced. East Timor becomes independent state. Brazil wins Football World Cup. The planetoid Quaoar discovered. Jimmy Carter awarded Nobel Peace prize.

 

2003

Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas upon reentry, killing all seven astronauts aboard. Coalition forces launch against Iraq, ending Sadam Hussein’s rule. Last old-style Volkswagen Beetle produced in Puebla, Mexico. Arnold Schwarzenegger voted Governor of California. Concorde makes its last commercial flight. Dan Hanebrink invents the Ice Bike. England wins the Rugby Union World Cup defeating Australia 20-17. Earthquake in Bam, Iran on December 27, kills more than 26,000 people.

 

2004

NASA’s Mer-A (Spirit) lands on Mars. Britney Spears’s marriage to Jason Allen Alexander annulled after 55 hours. Cruise liner Queen Mary 2 launched. Facebook founded. Kyushu Shinkansen high-speed rail line opens in Japan. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban released. Summer Olympics held in Athens, Greece. Largest Tsunami disaster ever recorded, killing 225,000 people in 14 countries.

 

2005

Pope John Paul II dies April, 2. German cardinal Joseph Ratzinger elected as 265th pontiff, Benedict XVI. First successful partial face transplant, France. July 7 London terrorist bombings. Hurricane Katrina strikes the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coasts. Earthquake kills about 80,000 people in Kashmir. YouTube launched.

 

2006

 Montenegro gains independence and becomes the 192nd member of the UN. Australian Dr Ian Frazer develops vaccine for cervical cancer. Winter Olympics held in Torino, Italy. Football World Cup won by Italy. Microsoft launches Vista operating system. 80% of world land surface has coverage by cellular networks for mobile phone use. Mandarin passes English as the most prevalent language on the Internet. Twitter launches.

 

2007

 Romania and Bulgaria join the EU. Australia win Cricket World Cup. The New Seven Wonders of the World announced. Apple launches the iPhone. July 1, nationwide public smoking ban introduced in England. BBC launches iPlayer. Homer Simpson movie released. Abel Gonzales Jr. introduces Deep-Fried Coca-Cola. State of celebriphilians (persons who desire romantic relationship with celebrity) more evident than ever on online video channel YouTube.

 

2008

 Beijing Olympics. Dmitri Medvedev elected President of Russia as Vladimir Putin reaches end of his term. Kosovo declares independence. NASA WMAP progam declares the universe is flat. Recession hits West worst; world power starts shifting from West to East.

 

2009

 Barack Hussein Obama becomes first black US President. Obama receives Noble Peace Prize. Barbie dolls turns 50. Microsoft launches Windows 7. World leaders meet (unsuccessfully) in Copenhagen to discuss global warming.

 

 

2010

Google launches Nexus One cell phone. Record cold weather in many countries. One of the deadliest earthquakes on record hits Haiti on January 12. Apple launches the iPad. Massive deep sea oil leak in Gulf of Mexico – British Petroleum held responsible (see list of largest oil spills). Spain wins Football World Cup.

 

2011

 Earthquake of 9.0 magnitude hits Japan in March 11, triggering 32 ft (10 m) tsunami, killing more than 12,000 people and causing partial melt-down of Fukushima nuclear reactor north of Tokyo – 7.1 magnitude earthquake on April 7 worsens catastrophe. Apple launches iPad2. Facebook reaches 700 million membership mark. MySpace, which was bought for $580m in 2005 is sold for $35m. GooglePlus social network launched. Arab Spring

 

WHY

Why does water not calm the tongue after eating hot spicy food?
The spices in most of the hot foods that we eat are oily, and, like your elementary school science teacher taught you, oil and water don’t mix. In this case, the water just rolls over the oily spices.

What can you do to calm your aching tongue? Eat bread. The bread will absorb the oily spices. A second solution is to drink milk. Milk contains a substance called “casein” which will bind to the spices and carry them away. Alcohol also dissolves oily spices.

Why does wet fabric appear darker?

When fabric gets wet, light coming towards it refracts within the water, dispersing the light. In addition, the surface of the water causes incoherent light scattering. The combination of these two effects causes less light to reflect to your eyes and makes the wet fabric appear darker.

Why is blue for boys and pink for girls?
In ancient times, it was believed that certain colors could combat the evil spirits that lingered over nurseries. Because blue was associated with the heavenly spirits, boys were clothed in that color, boys then being considered the most valuable resource to parents. Although baby girls did not have a color associated with them, they were mostly clothed in black. It was only in the Middle Ages when pink became associated with baby girls.

Why do people kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas?
In ancient myth, when the son of the Norse goddess Frigga, Baldr, was killed by an arrow made of mistletoe and then brought back to life, she blessed the mistletoe and bestowed a kiss on all who passed beneath it. In the 18th century, the legend was adopted as a promise to marry. At Christmas a lady standing under a mistletoe may not refuse a kiss. If she does, she cannot expect to marry the following year. So it is told.

Why are there bunnies and eggs at Easter?
The ancient Anglo-Saxons celebrated the return of spring with a carnival commemorating their goddess of offspring and of springtime, Eostre. The word carnival possibly originated from the Latin ‘carne vale’ meaning “flesh, farewell” or “meat, farewell.” The offerings were rabbits and colored eggs, bidding an end to winter.
As it happened, the pagan festival of Eostre occurred at the same time of year as the Christian observance of the Resurrection of Christ and it didn’t take the Christian missionaries long to convert the Anglo-Saxons when they encountered them in the second century. The offering of rabbits and eggs eventually became the Easter bunny and Easter eggs.

If blood is red, why are veins blue?
Blood is bright red in its oxygenated form and a dark red in deoxygenated form. In simpler terms, it is bright red when it leaves the lungs full of oxygen and dark red when it returns to the lungs for a refill. Veins appear blue because light penetrating the skin is absorbed and reflected in high energy wavelengths back to the eye. Higher energy wavelengths are blue.

Why did Columbus and others try to sail around the world?
You probably know that people native to the Americas are called “Indians” because early explorers like Christopher Columbus thought they had come across the Indian spice islands. Traders were forced to sail westward after the spice route to the East by land was blocked for Europeans by Muslim uprisings.

Why is it called a “loo?”
The British word for toilet, “loo”, derives from the French “garde a l’eau!” In medieval Europe people had little conception of hygiene and threw the contents of their chamber pots out the window into the street below. In France the practice was preceded by “garde a l’eau!” (“watch out for the water!”). In England, this phrase was Anglicized, first to “gardy-loo!”, then just “loo”, and eventually came to mean the toilet/lavatory itself. The American word for toilet, “john”, is called after the John Harington who in 1596 invented an indoor water closet for Queen Elizabeth I.

Why is the sky blue?
When sunlight travels through the atmosphere, it collides with gas molecules. These molecules scatter the light. The shorter the wavelength of light, the more it is scattered by the atmosphere. Because it has a shorter wavelength than the other colors, blue light is scattered more, ten times more than red light, for instance. That is why the sky is blue.
Why does the setting sun look reddish orange? When the sun is on the horizon, its light takes a longer path through the atmosphere to reach your eyes than when the sun is directly overhead. By the time the light of the setting sun reaches your eyes, most of the blue light has been scattered out. The light you finally see is reddish orange, the color of white light minus blue.

Why do onions make you cry?
Onions, like other plants, are made of cells. The cells are divided into two sections separated by a membrane. One side of the membrane contains an enzyme which helps chemical processes occur in your body. The other side of the membrane contains molecules that contain sulfur. When you cut an onion, the contents on each side of the membrane mix and cause a chemical reaction. This reaction produces molecules such as ethylsufine which make your eyes water.
To prevent crying when you cut an onion, cut it under a running tap of cold water. The sulfur compounds dissolve in water and are rinsed down the sink before they reach your eyes. You can also put the onion in the freezer for ten minutes before you cut it. Cold temperatures slow down the reaction between the enzyme and the sulfur compounds so fewer of the burning molecules will reach your eyes.

Why do you get hiccups?
Hiccups happen when the diaphragm, the muscle that controls our breathing, becomes irritated and start to spasm and contract uncontrollably. With each contraction, air is pulled into the lungs very quickly, passes through the voice box, and then the epiglottis closes behind the rush of air, shaking the vocal chords, causing the “hic” sound. The irritation can be caused by rapid eating, emotional stress and even some diseases. The best cure? Breathing into a paper bag. This calms the diaphragm by increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in your bloodstream.

Why are camels called “ships of the desert?”
Camels are called “ships of the desert” because of the way they move, not because of their transport capabilities. Camels sway from side to side because they move both legs on one side at the same time, elevating that side. This is called pacing, a ship-like motion which can make the rider feel sick.

If you want to evoke emotion, it’s internal emotion for the reader, not the writer… If someone reads your tweet or blog post, or sees your video, and the only thing they learn is more about you, you’re not evoking emotion. That’s an ad. If you want to persuade people and get them to pass something around, evoke their emotion.

— Scott Stratten

LOVE

Whenever you love, love wholeheartedly and never be afraid to show your love, Let your love be like an open book that all souls can read. It is the most wonderful thing in the world, so let that divine love within you flow freely. Love is not blind, but it see the very best in the loved one, and so it draws forth the very best. Never pick and choose whom you are going to love. Simply keep your heart open and keep the love flowing to all souls alike. Love should never be turned on and off like a tap. Love is never exclusive or possessive. The more you are willing to share it, the more you are willing to share it, the greater it becomes.

Source:  Eillen Caddy

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