Writers on Writing | Authors and Literature | Careers

June 21, 2018
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Listen to episode 276 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Writers on Writing | Authors and Literature. Edited and adapted from “Campfires & Guideposts” by Henry van Dyke.

Inspirational Podcasts Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. A special thanks to our newest patrons, Steve Crews, Wayne Sanday, and Naima Shea. If you would like to support our podcast and gain access to full transcripts of our more than 270 podcasts, please visit LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Campfires & Guideposts by Henry Van Dyke, published in 1921.

IT is a curious fact that there is no good guide book to authorship. There are, of course, lots of self-portraits of authors at work. And there are many essays upon the craft of writing in general.

The best of these portraits and advice are excellent reading, full of entertainment and instruction for the alert and candid mind, and touched with a special, sympathetic interest for those young persons who have sternly resolved, or fondly dreamed, that they will follow a literary career.

A volume of carefully selected material of this kind might be made attractive and rewarding to readers who wish to be authors. But the one thing which such a book ought not to be mistaken for, is a manual for the profession of writing literature.

Why not? Well, the answer is an open secret — an instructive paradox. Because there is no certain pathway to authorship. It is a voyage, if you like. But there are no guideposts in the sea. It is a flight, if you like. But there are no tracks in the air. It is certainly not a journey along a railway line, or a highway, or even a well-marked trail.

In this it differs from other vocations like the Bar, Engineering, Medicine, or Accounting. For each of these there is a pretty clearly defined path of preparatory study, with fixed gateways of examination along its course. When the last gate is passed and the young doctor is licensed to practice, the young lawyer admitted to the bar, the accountant certified to crunch numbers, the path broadens into a road, which leads from one professional duty to another with the regularity of a time-table — and, it must be added, with something of the monotony of a clock.

Death & Eternal Life | Spirituality Life Lessons

June 19, 2018
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Listen to episode 275 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Death & Eternal Life | Spirituality Life Lessons. Edited and adapted from “On the Threshold” by Charles Wagner.

Spirituality Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you with the kind financial support of listeners like you. Support our podcast for as little as 1 dollar a month. Learn more at LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from On Life’s Threshold by Charles Wagner, published in 1905.

SOME people think it is better never to speak of death, or even consider it. I know parents who have tried to hide it from their children, carefully avoiding any encounter that might reveal it to them. This is one of those desperate feats that serve only to make more formidable what we are obliged to look at sometime in the face.

Death comes without any care on our part. Its manifestations are part of the daily spectacle of nature and of human society. We need not look at a corpse or a coffin to see it, for to note only an insect or animal falling lifeless is to have our attention directed to that mysterious Something called death.

Of course we should not spend our whole life watching for its end. That would be the worst way to prepare for it. Students who spend their school hours thinking about recess are poor workers, as are those employees occupied all day long in counting the minutes that separate them from the evening.

Like them, we lose our time when we spend it in fruitless contemplation of death. We are here to live — not to waste time in mournful preoccupations and to have our souls dulled by constant thoughts of the last hour.

It is not a bad idea, of course, to become familiar with the fact that we shall not stay forever on the earth, and I do not think it necessary to wait for old age to consider death. Indeed, it is well to consider it while we are young. The person who thinks at times that their days are numbered is disposed to utilize them better.

The thought of death makes us a better human being. We watch more scrupulously our conduct toward friends and family, thinking that perhaps we will not always have them with us.

The Spirit of Family | Coming Home | Life & Traditions

June 14, 2018
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Listen to episode 274 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Spirit of Family | Coming Home | Life & Traditions. Edited and adapted from “By the Fireside” by Charles Wagner.

Inspirational Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you have benefited from this podcast, please let me know by leaving us a review at the iTunes store, Google Play, or Stitcher.com. Your reviews are greatly appreciated and help others find our podcast. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from By the Fireside, by Charles Wagner, published in 1901.

Let us talk today about the home, whose very name is so full of suggestion and memories. The roof is primarily a shelter. Cold and heat, all the inclemencies of sky, urge us to build it and protect it. The person who lacks this refuge lacks everything — and to picture in a word the degree of want, we say of a person that they are homeless. Would we have, on the contrary, a perfect picture of the happiness of civilized life, we may find it in a family circle — unbroken, old and young together, under the protecting roof, round a cheerful fire, where the evening meal is bubbling in a great pot.

But the roof is something besides a shelter. It is a center of stability. If we had no need of it for cover and defense, we would still feel driven to find somewhere in the world a corner of our own — to attach ourselves to some familiar spot. True, life is a journey, and we are all on a pilgrimage. But every one of us is in search of a home.

The most intrepid traveler, the most indefatigable explorer, cannot exist and be always on the road. When distance has lost its enchantment, and our passion for adventure has cooled, when we have braved dangers and looked upon wonders, desire wakens in our heart to find a resting-place. The more countries and peoples and things we have seen, the greater becomes our thirst for a fixed abode, for the peace and the affections of a home. The Wandering Jew himself sighs for but one thing: to make a halt, and that forever.

A sure refuge, a rallying-point whither all our ways lead us back — that is what I call the roof-tree, the true abiding home. It is one of the material forms in which our spiritual nature manifests and interprets itself. Humanity has need of creating a world in its own image, so that we are better able to live fruitfully — and our dwelling place is this world in miniature.

The Courage to Be | Charles Wagner Life Lessons

June 12, 2018
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Listen to episode 273 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Courage to Be | Charles Wagner Life Lessons. Edited and adapted from “Courage” by Charles Wagner.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. One of the keys to more successful living is the ability to control our thoughts and emotions, and to keep our mind filled with uplifting thoughts. That’s where The Majesty Program comes in. Our powerful affirmations meditation uses our unique Autosuggestion Sound Method to help you transform your life in 30 days.

To learn more, please visit: LivingHour.org/Majesty. To get 30% off your purchase, use the coupon code: inspiration. Now, on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from the book Courage by Charles Wagner, published in 1903.

These lines are not written for any particular class of people. I seek to speak of those things which are common to all, being day by day more convinced that the nature of humanity is everywhere identical. However, I have not been able to avoid thinking more especially of those whose morning is gloomy and whose youth was hard.

Goethe declares in his history of his life that "what we desire in our youth we possess abundantly in our old age." An astonishing saying, and one which seems inconsistent with truth; but if we look at it more closely, such is not the case. We do, indeed, apply ourselves with ardor to the pursuit of that which we desire; and, whether our ambition be noble or the reverse, it is seldom that we do not end by fulfilling it, in part at least.

Our life is eventually stamped by our ideal. No one, therefore, can watch the tendency of their desires too carefully. What we most often lack in youth is the knowledge of what it is wisest to desire. To wish for vain things is to take a will-o'-the-wisp for our guide along the road. How many of us have wandered in this way after these uncertain lanterns of light, which promised happiness but led us into the swamps.

I should like to make you desire the things that are real, that are worth being loved and acquired by stress and toil; and among all these things there is nothing to be compared with force. Force is itself a virtue; and by virtue I understand every power that excites in us an intenser life, and joy, and hope.

Becoming Self-Actualized | The Power to Live Abundantly

June 7, 2018
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Listen to episode 272 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Self-Actualization | The Power to Live Abundantly. Edited and adapted from “How to Develop Your Will Power” by Clare Tree Major.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Visit our lifestyle brand Book of Zen for inspirational t-shirts, hoodies, I-phone cases, and more. Go to BookofZen.com to view our latest offerings. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from “How to Develop Your Will Power” by Clare Tree Major, published in 1920.

THE most dominant demand of the human mind is for success. Just what may be success (and in what particular field success is desired) varies with the individual. But the fundamental need is the same: the attainment of the highest standard of accomplishment possible to each specific personality.

Success may mean money, business power, social position, artistic excellence, literary achievement, or any other one of a thousand obvious and general goals of ambition — or it may mean some simple acquirement of domestic or personal value only. Whatever it may be, small or large, which furnishes the inspiration, the force of out-reaching energy has its source in one and the same basic principle — the absolute need of the inner you, the real individual, for self-realization. The vehicle for this self-realization is the WILL.

The use of the term “self–development” in connection with this is that it’s the process through which the hidden power of the individual is revealed. You are yourself, a part of the creative force of life, not the thing which has been created. Hereafter when I speak of the individual, or when you speak of yourself, let us think of the inhabiting, controlling intelligence, the self which owns and has made your body what it is, the soul which is making its pilgrimage through this wonderful world, to learn by conquering to become master of itself, and through that mastery, to become master of all that is.

Positive Thoughts | The Building Blocks of Success

June 5, 2018
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Listen to episode 271 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Positive Thoughts | The Building Blocks of Success. Edited and adapted from “Success Through Thought Habit” by Benjamin Johnson.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. A special thanks to all you who subscribed to our YouTube Channel last month. We hit our goal of 1000 total subscribers and I’m grateful for your support.

If you haven’t subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet, you can do so by visiting LivingHour.org/youtube. Or by just going to YouTube and searching for the Inspirational Living podcast. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from “Success Through Thought Habit” by Benjamin Johnson, published in 1908.

Long, long years ago, so the story is told,

A maiden named Doubt, loved young Courage so bold.

Their marriage was blessed by four children, it’s said,

And each parent named two, at least, so I've read.

The first was called Will and the second was Wont,

The third was named Do and the fourth one was Dont.

Like sturdy young plants they flourished and grew,

And astonished their friends by the things they would do.

Young Will was a wonder at work or at play,

He was busy as could be, while Wont sat all day,

Objecting, complaining, his face sad and long,

Declaring to his mind this world was all wrong.

Do pushed right ahead, leaving nothing undone,

But Dont was a mule and often balked just for fun.

So they grew and developed until one fine day,

They attempted to find what the world had to say.

Do soon found an opening and rose to success,

Dont couldn't find work and thus failed to progress.

Will forged straight ahead and was known far and wide,

Wont kept right on balking and balked till he died.

The moral is plain for those who can see,

It consists in a warning to heed carefully,

About the names you use and the names you wear,

If you wish to succeed and escape from the snare

Of failure and poverty, sickness and woe,

And be sure of enjoyment wherever you go.

Know that thought is your guide, for your name merely proves

What kind of ideas have lodged in the grooves

Of your mind, the one place you should ever be sure,

To keep peaceful, harmonious, joyous and pure.

Gratitude Life Lessons | Facing the Ungrateful

May 31, 2018
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Listen to episode 270 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Gratitude Life Lessons | Overcoming Ingratitude. Edited and adapted from “The Power of Truth” by William George Jordan.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Get full transcripts of our podcast, with your very own private podcast feed, by becoming our patron today. Learn more at LivingHour.org/patron. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from “The Power of Truth” by William George Jordan, published in 1902.

Gratitude is being thankful, and then turning that feeling into action. It is the instinctive radiation of justice — giving new life and energy to the individual from whom it emanates. It is the heart's recognition of kindness that the lips cannot repay.

Gratitude never counts its payments. It realizes that no debt of kindness can ever be outlawed, ever be cancelled, ever paid in full. Gratitude ever feels the insignificance of its instalments — ingratitude the nothingness of the debt.

Gratitude is the flowering of the seed of kindness. Ingratitude is the dead inactivity of a seed dropped on a stone. The expectation of gratitude is human, while rising superior to ingratitude is almost divine. To desire recognition of our acts of kindness, and to hunger for appreciation and a return of good for good, is natural. But we never rise to the dignity of true living until we have the courage that dares to face ingratitude calmly, and to pursue our course unchanged when our good works meet with thanklessness or disdain.

A person should have only one court of appeals as to their actions — not "What will be the result?" or "How will it be received?" but "Is it right?" Then you should live your life in harmony with this standard alone — serenely, bravely, loyally, and unfalteringly — making "right for right's sake" both your ideal and your inspiration.

We should be like the great sun itself, which ever radiates light, warmth, life, and power, because it cannot help doing so, because these qualities fill the heart of the sun — and for it to have them means that it must give them constantly. Let the sunlight of our sympathy, tenderness, love, appreciation, influence, and kindness ever go out from us as a glow to brighten and hearten others.

The Secret of Health, Youth, and Courage

May 29, 2018
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Listen to episode 269 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Secret of Health, Youth & Courage. Edited and adapted from A Gentle Heart by James Russell Miller.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt:Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Get the best of our podcasts in book form by visiting our website InspirationalLifeLessons.com. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Blessing of Cheerfulness by James Russell Miller, published in 1895.

I have already shared with you the ways in which the lesson of cheerfulness can be learned. It is a lesson that we should learn, whatever the cost. The person who carries about with them a cheerful spirit is a blessing wherever they go.

We have no right to go among people with our complaints and our mumblings. It is part of the debt of love we owe to our fellow human beings, to bring them always the best we have — not gloom and shadow and discouragement, but cheer, hope, and joy.

We were made to be lights in the world, to let our light so shine before others that they may see our good works, and glorify the sublime. There is no light in discontent, complaining, and gloom; and we are not realizing God's plan for our life when we let shadows hang about us.

The blessings of cheerfulness are many. It blesses the individual themselves. It is a fountain of life in your heart. It makes you strong for all duty and struggle. Life is not half so hard for the cheerful person, as it is for the one who is depressed and unhappy. Burdens are light when you can sing under them. Battles are easily won when the heart is glad.

Literary Life Lessons from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

May 24, 2018
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Listen to episode 268 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Literary Life Lessons from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Edited and adapted from The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to thank all of you who’ve taken the time to subscribe to our YouTube channel. I’m only about 45 people short of my goal of 1000 subscribers by the end of the month.

So, if you would like to help me out and subscribe, please visit LivingHour.org/youtube. Or simply go to YouTube, search for the Inspirational Living podcast, and click the subscribe button. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe. Translated by T. Bailey Saunders, and published in 1906.

THERE is nothing worth thinking but it has been thought before; we must only try to think it again. In the works of humankind, as in those of nature, it is really the motive which is chiefly worth our attention.

How can you come to know yourself? Never by thinking, but only by doing. Try to do your duty, and you will know at once what you are worth. But what is your duty? The claims of the day.

Tell me with whom you associate, and I will tell you who you are. If I know what your business is, I know what can be made of you.

Every person must think after their own fashion — for on your own path you find a truth, or a kind of truth, which helps you through life. But you must not give yourself free rein; you must control yourself. Mere naked instinct does not become you. Unbridled activity, of whatever kind, leads at last to bankruptcy.

In Botany there is a species of plants called Incomplete; and just in the same way, it can be said that there are people who are incomplete and imperfect. They are those whose desires and struggles are out of proportion to their actions and achievements. The most insignificant person can be complete if they work within the limits of their capacities (innate or acquired). But even fine talents can be obscured and destroyed by lack of this indispensable requirement of symmetry.

It is only men and women of practical ability, knowing their powers and using them with moderation and prudence, who will be successful in worldly affairs. It is a great error to take yourself for more than you are — or for less than you are worth.

The Art of Worldly Wisdom | Baltasar Gracián

May 22, 2018
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Listen to episode 267 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Art of Worldly Wisdom. Edited and adapted from a book by the same title by Baltasar Gracián.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to with the financial support of listeners like you. If you would like to support the continuation of our podcast with a one-time financial donation, please visit LivingHour.org/donate. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracián. Translated from the Spanish by Joseph Jacobs and published in 1892.

Mix a little mystery with everything, and that very mystery will arouse veneration. And when you explain something, be not too explicit — just as you do not expose your inner-most thoughts in ordinary conversation. Cautious silence is the holy of holies of worldly wisdom. But a resolution declared outright is never highly thought of. It only leaves room for criticism. And if it happens to fail, you are doubly unfortunate. Besides, you echo the Divine way when you cause others to wonder and watch.

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Knowledge and Courage are the elements of Greatness. They give immortality, because they are immortal. A person without knowledge is a world without light. Wisdom and strength are like eyes and hands. Knowledge without courage is sterile.

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If you would be wise, have others needing you, rather than thanking you. To keep them on the threshold of hope is diplomatic, to trust to their gratitude boorish — hope has a good memory, gratitude a bad one. More is to be got from dependence than from courtesy.

When dependence disappears, good behavior goes with it, as well as respect. Let it be one of the chief lessons of your experience to keep hope alive without entirely satisfying it, by preserving it to make oneself always needed, even by those who seem to have everything.

Courtship & Married Life | How to Choose a Life Partner

May 17, 2018
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Listen to episode 266 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Courtship & Married Life | How to Choose a Life Partner. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to begin today by thanking our newest patrons: Sarah Jordan, Michael Lewis, Jeremy Johnson, and Terry Radigan. If you would like to lend us your financial support by becoming a patron, you can do so for as little as $1 a month. Learn more by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T. L. Haines and L. W. Yaggy, published in 1882.

All the blessedness, all the utility, efficacy, and happiness of the married state, depend upon its truthfulness, or the wisdom of the union. Marriage is not necessarily a blessing. It may be a bitter curse. It may sting like an adder and bite like a serpent. Its bower is as often made of thorns as of roses. It blasts as many sunny expectations as it realizes.

Every improper marriage is a living misery, and undying death. Its bonds are gated bars of frozen iron. It is a spirit prison, cold as the dungeon of ruin. An ill-mated human pair is the most woeful picture of human wretchedness in the book of life; and yet, such pictures are plenty. Every page we turn gives us a view of some such living bondage.

But a proper marriage (a true interior, soul-linked union) is a living picture of blessedness, unrivaled in beauty. A true marriage is the soul's Eden. It is the portal of heaven. It is the visiting-place of angels. It is the charm of a spirit in captivation with all imaginable beauty and loveliness. It is a constant peace-offering that procures a continual Sabbath-day sweetness, rich as the quietude of reposing angels.

A Brahmin Guide for Living a Noble Life | Brahman Wisdom

May 15, 2018
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Listen to episode 265 of the Inspirational Living podcast: A Brahmin Guide for Living a Noble Life. Edited and adapted from The Economy of Human Life, translated from an ancient Brahmin manuscript by Robert Dodsley.

Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. With high school and university graduations upon us, you may be looking for the perfect graduation gift. Share a lifetime’s worth of wisdom by giving the new graduate our books of timeless inspirational life lessons—available now in both heirloom hardcover and e-book. Purchase your copies today by visiting our website InspirationalLifeLessons.com. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Economy of Human Life, translated from an ancient Brahmin Manuscript by Robert Dodsley, published in 1839.

COMMUNE with yourself and consider for what reason you were made. Contemplate your powers, your wants, and your connections — so that you shall discover the duties of life, and be directed in all your ways.

Proceed not to speak or to act before you have weighed your words, and examined the tendency of every step you will take. By doing so, disgrace shall fly far from you, and in your house, shame shall be a stranger; repentance shall not visit you; nor sorrow dwell upon your cheek.

The thoughtless person speaks at random. They are entangled in the foolishness of their own words. They are like the person who runs in haste and leaps over a fence, only to fall into a pit on the other side, which they did not see — for they plunge suddenly into any action, not having considered the consequences.

Hearken therefore unto the voice of Consideration. Her words are the words of wisdom, and her paths shall lead you to truth and safety.

Gautama Buddha | Inspirational Siddhartha Quotes

May 10, 2018
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Listen to episode 264 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Gautama Buddha | Inspirational Quotes. Edited and adapted from words and thoughts attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you by the generous financial support of listeners like you. Gain access to our exclusive series on spiritual growth by becoming our patron today. Learn more about the series Our Sunday Talks by visiting LivingHour.org/Sunday. Thank you.

Today’s reading has been edited and adapted from words and thoughts attributed to Gautama Buddha.

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

“Three things cannot hide for long: the Moon, the Sun and the Truth.”

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”

“To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.”

“To insist on a spiritual practice that served you in the past is to carry the raft on your back after you have crossed the river.”

“Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame.”

“I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.”

“‎Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you. They are all your teachers, each doing just the right things to help you learn perfect patience, perfect wisdom, perfect compassion.”

“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”

"Be a lamp unto yourself. Work out your liberation with diligence.”

“A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

Be of Good Cheer: The Blessings of Cheerfulness | J.R. Miller

May 8, 2018
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Listen to episode 263 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Be of Good Cheer. Edited and adapted from The Blessing of Cheerfulness by J.R. (James Russell) Miller.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Don’t forget that you can listen to fireside chat versions of our podcast on YouTube. We currently have 900 subscribers and I have a goal of breaking the 1000 mark by the end of the month. So, if you would like to lend me your support, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel today by visiting LivingHour.org/youtube. Or simply visit the YouTube website and search for the Inspirational Living podcast. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Blessing of Cheerfulness by James Russell Miller, published in 1895.

There are many ways in which we may bless others. For example, a ministry of helpfulness is a perpetual benediction. One who feeds the hungry, visits and relieves the sick, the poor, and the orphan, and comforts sorrow, is a blessing to the world. One who speaks words that strengthen, inspire, or comfort others, blesses us all. One who uses their money to do good is also a blessing. But can one be a blessing merely by being cheerful?

Yes. Joyful living exerts a silent influence for good. It is like a sweet flower by the wayside, which has a benediction for all who pass by. Everyone carries an atmosphere about them. It may be healthful and invigorating, or it may be unwholesome and depressing. It may make a little spot of the world a sweeter, better, safer place to live in. Or it may make it harder for those to live worthily and beautifully who dwell within its circle. We are responsible for this atmosphere.

Our influence may be involuntary in its final effect. We cannot wholly change it from evil to good on any particular day by a mere volition. It is something that belongs to our personality. It is an emanation from our character; and our character is the growth of all our years, what has been built up in us by all the lessons, experiences, impressions, and influences of life, from childhood.

Hence the atmosphere that hangs about us on any particular day is, in a large degree, involuntary. At the same time we are responsible for it. We are responsible for our character — our own hands have made it what it is. If we have trained ourselves to be discontented and unhappy (so that wherever we go we make others about us less happy), we may not blame heredity, or original sin, or environment, for our unfortunate disposition.

Lift Yourself with Love | The Gentle Heart is Strongest

May 3, 2018
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Listen to episode 262 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Lift Yourself with Love | The Gentle Heart. Edited and adapted from A Gentle Heart by James Russell Miller.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. You can now listen to us, along with other inspirational podcasts and music at Shining Bright Radio. Check out their daily programming by visiting them at ShiningBrightRadio.com. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from A Gentle Heart by James Russell Miller, published in 1896.

Gentleness is a beautiful quality. It is essential to all true character. When a person is harsh, cold, unfeeling, rude, and rough in their manner, no one speaks of their fine spirit. When one is loud-voiced, dictatorial, given to speaking bitter words and doing unkindly things, no person is ever heard saying of them, "What a lovely person they are!" They may have many excellent qualities, and may do much good, but their lack of gentleness mars the beauty of their character.

No person is truly great who is not gentle. Courage and strength and truth and justness are essential elements in a strong character; but if all these be in you and gentleness be wanting, your life is sadly flawed. This world needs nothing more than it needs gentleness. All human hearts hunger for tenderness.

We are made for love — not only to love, but to be loved. Harshness pains us. Ungentleness touches our sensitive spirits as frost touches the flowers. It stunts the growth of all lovely things. We naturally crave gentleness. It is like a genial summer to our life. Beneath its warm, nourishing influence beautiful things in us grow.

There always are many people who have special need of tenderness. We cannot know what secret burdens many are carrying, what hidden griefs burn like fires in the hearts of those with whom we mingle in our common life. Not all grief wears the outward garb of mourning. Sunny faces often times veil heavy hearts. Many people make no audible appeal for sympathy, yet crave tenderness as they bow beneath their burden.

The Poetry of Life | Its Meaning, Beauty & Spirit

May 1, 2018
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Listen to episode 261 of the Inspirational Living podcast, The Poetry of Life | Its Meaning, Beauty & Spirit. Edited and adapted from The Poetry of Life by Bliss Carman.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Support our podcast by shopping at our website BookofZen.com for inspirational t-shirts, hoodies, iPhone cases, and more. Visit BookofZen.com to see our new offerings. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Poetry of Life by Bliss Carman, published in 1905.

"The poetry of life," says the book of St. Kavin, "is the poetry of beauty, sincerity, and elation." And when you think about it, it seems reasonable enough that this should be so — since these are the archangel trio to whose keeping the very sources of life are confided. They are the dispensers of happiness, the bringers of wisdom, the guardians of mystery.

That the poetry of life should be the poetry of beauty seems nearly self-evident. The beauty of the world so outreaches and overcomes all its ugliness — is so much more prevalent and vital and persistent. Therefore, what could be more natural that art (life's replica) should care greatly for it also?

As for its sincerity, the poetry of life need not always be solemn, any more than life itself need always be sober. It may be gay, witty, humorous, satirical, disbelieving, farcical (even broad and reckless), since life is all of these. But it must never be insincere. Insincerity in the world of art is an offense of the first magnitude.

Although insincerity in life may be mean and despicable (and indicate a petty nature), insincerity in art is death. A strong person may lie upon occasion, and make restitution and be forgiven, but for the artist who lies there is hardly any reparation possible. Thus forgiveness is much more difficult.

Being the Master of Your Destiny | Fate & Providence

April 26, 2018
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Listen to episode 260 of the Inspirational Living podcast, Being the Master of Your Destiny. Edited and adapted from The Mastery of Destiny by James Allen, published in 1909.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, creator of The MAJESTY meditation program that employs our unique autosuggestion sound method. Learn how you can replace your negative, self-defeating, thoughts with positive ones by visiting LivingHour.org/majesty. To get 30% off the $11.99 purchase price, use the coupon code: inspiration. Thank you.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Mastery of Destiny by James Allen, published in 1909.

THERE is, and always has been, a widespread belief in Fate, or Destiny — that is, in an eternal and inscrutable Power which apportions definite ends to both individuals and nations. This belief has arisen from long observation of the facts of life.

People are conscious that there are certain occurrences which they cannot control, and are powerless to avert. Birth and death, for instance, are inevitable, and many of the incidents of life appear equally inevitable. Men and women strain every nerve for the attainment of certain ends, and gradually they become conscious of a Power which seems to be not of themselves, which frustrates their puny efforts, and laughs, as it were, at their fruitless striving and struggle.

As we advance in life, we learn to submit, more or less, to this overruling Power which we do not understand, perceiving only its effects in ourselves and the world around us — and we call it by various names, such as God, Providence, Fate, Destiny, etc.

Overcoming Regrets, Mistakes, Worry, Fear & Anxiety

April 24, 2018
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Listen to 259 of the Inspirational Living podcast, Overcoming Regrets, Mistakes, Worry, Fear & Anxiety. Edited and adapted from Nuggets of New Thought by William Walker Atkinson.

Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you by the kind support of listeners like you. Learn how you can support the work we do, by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Nuggets of New Thought by William Walker Atkinson, published in 1902.

There is something attractive to me about slang and the pat phrases that are passed along from one to another on the street. Many of these phrases condense in a few words certain practical truths that one could use as the basis for a sermon, an essay, or even a book. They are the practical experiences of the people crystallized in a catchy phrase.

For example, the phrase "Forget it!" seems to me to contain much practical common sense, and if people would put it into practice there would be many more brighter faces — many more lighter hearts. What's the use, anyhow, of carrying around a long face or a heavy heart, just because way back in the past something "went wrong". Even if we "went wrong" ourselves (and most of us have), what's the use? Forget it!

Of course we won’t forget the experiences of the past, and we don’t want to. That's one of the things we are living for — gaining experience. When we have really learned a thing through experience, we never forget it — it is a part of us. But why bother about the memory of the pain, the mortification, the "slip-up," the heartache, the wounded feelings, the misplaced confidence, the thing done in the wrong way, the chance we let slip by, the folly, the sin, the misery, the "might-have-beens," and all the rest. Oh what's the use? Forget it I say; just forget it.

Advice for Young Adults | Life Coach Lessons

April 19, 2018
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Listen to episode 258 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Advice to Young Adults | Life Coach Lessons. Edited and adapted from Increasing Personal Efficiency by Russell H. Conwell.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I’d like to start today by sending a special thanks to all of our patrons. My notebook broke down a few days ago, and I needed to buy a new computer to continue producing this podcast. The financial support from patrons has made the purchase of this new notebook easier for me. So, thank you, again. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Increasing Personal Efficiency by Russell H. Conwell, published in 1917.

A life is divine when duty is a joy. The best work we ever do is the work we get pleasure from doing. And the work we are likeliest to enjoy most is the work we are best fitted to do with our talent.

There is nothing in the world except marriage that we should be slower to take upon ourselves than our life-work; therefore, think much, read much, inquire much before you assume any life career. When you have decided what is best fitted for you, pursue it ceaselessly and courageously, no matter how far distant it may be, how arduous the labor attending it, or how difficult the ascent. The greater the difficulty surmounted, the more you will value your achievement and the greater power you will have for keeping on with your work after you have reached your goal.

Do your utmost to find a friend who is older than you, and consult with them frequently. And give every person your ear, for the humblest in station (and those with little knowledge in certain matters) may see a few things more clearly than others, and may be well stored with what you most require. Take each person's advice, but act according to your own judgment.

Teachers should be the best advisers of those about to enter upon their life-work, and no service of the schoolmaster or professor can ever be more helpful than that of helping a student to choose a career.

How to Become a Great Lover of Life | And of Death

April 17, 2018
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Listen to episode 257 of the Inspirational Living podcast: How to Become a Great Lover of Life & Death. Edited and adapted from The Key to Health, Wealth & Love by Julia Seton.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: The way to get love is to give it, and true love is simply empathy and understanding — when you can take time from your own personal desires and activities to find what another person wants or needs, feeling within yourself the very pangs of their own deep longing, then eagerly, willingly, helping them to get those things which will satisfy their soul and make them bigger and better because of your assistance — you love this person, and by these actions have passed into true love; you love them with the love that heals and binds and blesses.

The way of life is joy, through love and service. We must give and do for others, not alone in our own way, but in the way they can receive and appreciate. No one can ever die alone who has lost his life in the life of humanity, for every bit of your long life of love-giving will come back to you in your closing days, to walk beside you and comfort your farewell to the world. Human love in the form of a loved one is the True personal God.

The Ancients lost the true idea of the personal God, and humankind has forgotten the true teachings. Humanity and its old teachers have only the dead letter left to worship. "God is Love" they say, but they forget to see God reflected in the human form. The personal God has become to them some far-off Majestic being, too high for human touch, and too cold for the warmth of needy lips and clinging caresses.

Today, we must find the personal God in the world of form around us: in the sky, in the sea, the trees, the earth, the flowers, the world of bird songs. All life speaks to us in God's own voice.

Motivation for a Marvelous Life | Inspirational Speeches

April 12, 2018
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Listen to episode 256 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Motivation for a Marvelous Life | Inspirational Speeches. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. I'd like to start today with a special thanks to our newest patrons: Ava Michelle, Andrew Schmidt, Zacharia Titus, April Hugie, Zahra Shikara, and Miim D. If you would like to become our patron and get your very own private podcast feed with full transcripts to all of our episodes, please visit LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you.

Today's reading was edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines and L.W. Yaggy, published in 1882.

Men and women of vision and determination, you are wanted. Turn your steps into the highway of noble aim and earnest work. There are prizes enough for every successful worker, crowns enough for every honorable head that goes through the smoke of conflict to victory.

There is within you an upspringing of lofty sentiment which contributes to your elevation, and though there are obstacles to be surmounted and difficulties to be vanquished, yet with truth for your watch-word, and a drive toward noble purposes and indefatigable action, you may crown your brow with imperishable honors.

Although you may never make an earth-shattering discovery, bring about a great political revolution, be the founder of a republic whose name shall be a "distinguished star in the constellation of nations," (even if your name may never be heard beyond the narrow limits of your own neighborhood), yet your mission is none the less a high and holy one.

In the moral and physical world, the consecrated cause of truth and virtue calls for champions, and the field for doing good is "white unto the harvest;" and if you enlist in its ranks, and your spirit faints not, you may write your name among the stars of heaven. Beautiful lives have blossomed in the darkest places, just as pure white lilies full of fragrance do on the slimy, stagnant waters.

No possession is so productive of real influence as a highly cultivated intellect. Wealth, birth, and official station may (and do) secure to their possessors an external, superficial courtesy; but they never did, and never can, command the reverence of the heart. It is only the men and women of large and noble soul (who blend a cultivated mind with an upright heart) who earn the tribute of deep and genuine respect.

The Art of Healthy Thinking | Food for Thought

April 10, 2018
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Listen to episode 255 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Art of Healthy Thinking | Food for Thought. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Thinkers rise upon us like new stars — a few in a century. The multitude run after them, and eat the crumbs that fall from their table. They follow them by instinct; they adopt their theories and accept their thoughts at sight. Indeed, the majority swallow whole what they eat, wheat or chaff, meat or bone, nut or shell. They do not masticate their mental food; they do not examine the facts they learn; they do not digest their knowledge. If they did we should not have schools of thought, sects, parties, but one grand lyceum of individual thinkers; every one making their own use of their knowledge, forming their own conclusions, and working out their own kind and degree of culture. We read enough to have a generation of philosophers.

Dull thinkers are always led by sharp ones. The keen intellect cuts its way smoothly, gracefully, rapidly; the dull one wears its life out against the simplest problems. To perceive accurately and to think correctly, is the aim of all mental training. Heart and conscience are more than the mere intellect. Yet we cannot tell how much the clear, clean-cut thought, the intellectual vision, sharp and true, may aid even these.

Some say that we never feel until we see, and when the object disappears, the feeling ceases. So we cannot exaggerate the importance of clear, correct thinking. We should eat, drink, sleep, walk, exercise body and mind, to this end. Just so far as we feel, we often make dolts and idiots of ourselves. We cast away our natural armor and defense. The designing make us dupes; we are overreached by the crafty, and trodden under foot by the strong.

Undigested learning is as oppressive as undigested food; and as in the dyspeptic patient, the appetite for food often grows with the inability to digest it — so in the unthinking patient, an overweening desire to know often accompanies the inability to know to any purpose.

Today's podcast is sponsored by the Molekule air purifier, whose breakthru technology is capable of destroying air pollutants at the molecular level ­­-- including allergens, mold, bacteria, and airborn chemicals. Visit them at Molekule.com.

The Little Things Lead to Big Things | Mindfulness

April 5, 2018
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Listen to episode 254 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Little Things Lead to Big Things | Mindfulness. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. For as little as $3 a month, you can get your very own private podcast feed with full transcripts to all of our more than 250 podcasts. Learn more at LivingHour.org/patron. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L Haines & L.W. Yaggy, published in 1882.

The little things in life are not to be dismissed. For want of a nail the horseshoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; for want of a horse the rider was lost. Every pea helps to fill the bowl. Little and often fills the purse. Moments are the golden sands of time. Every day is a little life; and our whole life is but a day repeated. Those, therefore, who dare lose a day, are dangerously profligate; those who dare misspend it, desperate.

Springs are little things, but they are sources of large streams. A helm is a little thing, but it governs the course of a ship. Nails and pegs are little things, but they hold parts of large buildings together. Zeros and ones are little things, but without them we would have no computers. A word, a look, a frown, all are little things, but powerful for good or evil. Think of this, and mind the little things. Pay that little debt - its promise redeem.

Little acts are the elements of true greatness. They raise life's value to its highest power. They are tests of character and indifference. They are the straws upon life's mysterious current, and show the current's way. The heart is found inside them. They move on the dial of responsibility. They indicate our destiny. They help to make the immortal woman and man.

It matters not so much where we are as what we are. It is seldom that acts of moral heroism are called for — rather the real heroism of life is to do all its little duties promptly and faithfully.

The Spirit & Power of Perseverance | Success Talks

April 3, 2018
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Listen to episode 253 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Spirit & Power of Perseverance. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines & L.W. Yaggy.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: "Continual drops wear out the stone." So persevering labor gains our objectives. Perseverance is the virtue wanted — a lion-hearted purpose of victory. It is this that builds; constructs; accomplishes whatever is great, good, and valuable.

Perseverance built the pyramids on Egypt's plains; erected the gorgeous temple at Jerusalem; enclosed in adamant the Chinese empire; scaled the stormy, cloud-capped Alps; opened a highway through the watery wilderness of the Atlantic; leveled the forests of a new world; and reared in its stead a community of states and nations. It has wrought from the marble block the exquisite creations of genius, painted on the canvas the gorgeous reproductions of nature.

It has put in motion millions of spindles; harnessed a thousand iron steeds to as many a freighted car, and set them flying from town to town and nation to nation; tunneled mountains of granite, and annihilated space with lightning speed. It has whitened the waters of the world with the sails of a hundred nations, navigated every sea and explored every land. It has reduced nature in her thousand forms to as many sciences; taught her laws; prophesied her future movements; measured her untrodden spaces; counted her myriad hosts of worlds, and computed their distances, dimensions, and velocities.

But greater still are the works of perseverance in the world of the mind. What are the productions of science and art compared with the splendid achievements won in the human soul? What is a monument of constructive genius, compared with the living domes of thought, the sparkling temples of virtue, and the rich sanctuaries of Divine contemplation, which perseverance has wrought out and reared in the souls of the enlightened?

Overcoming Grief, Sorrow, and Pain | Finding Faith

March 29, 2018
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Listen to episode 252 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Overcoming Grief, Sorrow, and Pain | Finding Faith. Edited and adapted from Comfort by Hugh Black.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: THE world is full of men and women who are carrying burdens of work or care or sorrow, and the burden often seems too heavy for them to bear. The sorest part of the trouble is that it appears meaningless, with no evident relation to life. The result is that there is only a dull bending of the neck for the load, or a listless doing of the duty.

Should the burden seem inevitable, it would be something if we could see some useful purpose in it. The apparent aimlessness of pain is more disabling than the pain itself. Life loses its spring, and the world turns grey, when the eye has no larger vision. The greatest need of humanity is a message of good cheer, of heartening for the daily task. But this cannot come by mere well-wishing and the usual surface consolations — patching another’s grief with proverbs.

It can only be by seeing that the whole of life is reasonable and can be made to show some meaning. For great living, we need to believe in the worth of life. In the face of the almost appalling difficulties that confront faith, we are nevertheless driven to meet them to keep life sane.

At the same time, we can hold our central faith in the worth of life, without having a rounded theory to explain the universe. It is enough that we see cause to take heart of our blessings and to be strong and of good courage.

So, the purpose of today’s talk is not to give a speculative solution of the deep problem of pain, but to show a practical way by which a brave soul can gather courage and strength and comfort. It is to note the fruits which the tree of life can be made to bear.