Thursday, March 31, 2011


Non stick spatulas for sale - “"Truer words were never spoken -" Ah, but true words leave hearts broken! Truth is only for the wise - Lovers ought to stick to lies”

A short story by William Saroyan is titled "The Man Whose Wife's Hair
Was Too Long But Whose Understanding of Music Was Too Short." If you
think the title strange, listen to this:

In the story, a husband plays the cello and never changes notes. He
just continues to repeat the same note without variation.

His wife is driven to distraction and finally protests: "Why do you
play the same note over and over and over again? Other cellists play
different notes."

"Other cellists play different notes," her husband replies, "because
they are trying to find the right one. I've found mine."

Ahhh, the beauty of finding your note! I think I could like him.
Finding your note is something like finding your purpose in life or
landing where you need to be.

Philosopher James Allen advised, "Above all be of single aim; have a
legitimate and useful purpose, and devote yourself unreservedly to
it." He could have said, "Find your note and stay with it."

I believe that is an important part of being happy. Like Helen Keller
says, true happiness is attained "through fidelity to a worthy

In music, staking your claim on one note will drive everyone around
you nuts. But finding the right note in life, and giving yourself to
it, can be a source of unending joy.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Supermarket cashier counters - “For every force, there is a counter force. For every negative there is a positive. For every action there is a reaction. For every cause there is an effect.”

An old prospector wandered into a small town where he was accosted by
a loud, obnoxious and quite drunken cowboy. The cowboy pointed his
six-shooters in the old miner's direction and asked, "Old man, do you
know how to dance?"

"Nope," the prospector replied.

"Maybe you'd better learn," said the cowpuncher. Hot lead kicked up
dust around the old man's feet and he began to dance.

Soon, however, the guns were empty. Now the old prospector reached
into his saddlebag and pulled out a sawed-off shotgun.

"Son," he said, "you ever kissed a mule?"

Looking first at the shotgun, then at the spot where the mule's tail
is attached to its body, the young cowboy got the message. "Nope," he
answered, "I never kissed a mule. But I always wanted to!"

Desire is another word for wanting to do something. And in real life,
desire is not something that can be given by anyone else. If there is
something you want to do, it is probably not because somebody is
holding a gun to your head. You just want to do it. Your desire comes
from the inside.

If you decide you want to improve, if you want a meaningful
relationship or more fulfilling work, if you want a rich spiritual
life or a healthier body, then the desire must come from your own
heart. Nobody can make you want those things. They can support you and
even inspire you, but only you can make it happen.

There may be a hundred reasons we think we can't be the people we want
to be. But there is really only one. We don't want it badly enough.

It was George Washington Carver, an African American who probably did
have a hundred reasons not to change his circumstances, who a century
ago said, "Most people search high and wide for the keys to success.
If they only knew, the key to their dreams lies within."

And that key is labeled "desire."

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Fresh home grown tomatoes for sale - “If life deals you lemons, make lemonade; if it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys”

American President John Quincy Adams once said, "Patience and
perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear
and obstacles vanish." Have you ever witnessed the magical effect of
patience and perseverance?

One North Carolina church wanted to purchase some property. The church
regularly suffered from high tide flooding. But when the church was
built over a hundred years ago, they couldn't afford better property.

As the story is told, they finally decided to relocate to higher
ground. An ideal lot was empty -- actually the highest ground in town.
It belonged to a man named Sam. Officials from the church went to see
Sam about selling the property. He politely told them it wasn't for
sale; that he had other plans for the land.

The church looked elsewhere, but nothing satisfactory could be found.
So they went back to Sam and made another offer. Again they were

Then an unusual thing happened. One of the worst coastal floods in
memory struck the town. As water rose, the church began to float. It
left its coastal lot and started inward. It floated down the main
street, turned a corner and eventually landed right on Sam's empty

Sam gave in. He allowed the building to stay and, if you were to ask a
former member of North Carolina's old Swanquarter Methodist Church how
they came to acquire their land, they may relate what Sam said about
the transaction: "I guess if the good Lord couldn't move me to give
the land to the church, he would move the church to the land."

Even John Quincy Adams might have been amazed at the "magical effect"
before which the church's obstacles disappeared.

I believe it was basketball great Michael Jordan who said, "If you run
into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb
it, go through it, or work your way around it."

It's about patience and perseverance. (And it can't hurt to have a
little faith.)

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, March 25, 2011


Freshly harvested rice for sale - “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted”

Anonymous. I'd like to meet that person sometime. Anonymous has come
up with some of the funniest and pithiest expressions I have ever
heard. And he (or is it she?) can also be so deeply profound at

Like these words from Anonymous about what enthusiasm can do for us:

"Indifference never wrote great works, nor thought out striking
inventions, nor reared the solemn architecture that awes the soul, nor
breathed sublime music, nor painted glorious pictures, nor undertook
heroic philanthropies. All these grandeurs are born of enthusiasm, and
are done heartily."

I'm reminded of that great 18th century founder of Methodism, John
Wesley. When asked how he drew such large crowds of people to hear him
preach, he responded, "I set myself on fire and they come out and
watch me burn!" People are drawn to enthusiasm.

Where there is no enthusiasm, there is no passion. Where there is no
passion, there is no great living.

Are we meant simply to be satisfied with mediocre lives? From
antiquity to the present, indifference has stolen from too many people
the chance to do something important with their lives. Their
indifference inspires little energy to pursue something truly

One woman went to the market and asked for two pounds of sausage. The
clerk yelled at the butcher, "Two pounds of enthusiasm!"

"Why do you call it that?" the bewildered customer asked.

"Because he puts everything he's got into it," the clerk said.

In your daily activities; in your relationships with family, friends
and colleagues; in anything you think is important -- what would
happen if you "put everything you've got" into it?

Are you ready to find out?

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Waiting for the train in the subway - “Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.”

One man quipped: "It's not that I'm afraid of dying. It's just that
I've been alive for as long as I can remember, and I'm kind of set in
my ways."

Some people ARE afraid of dying. Others are not concerned about their
death ... but they worry about how they're going to get there. Will
illness linger? Or will it be sudden?

I can't even guess how or when I might die, but knowing my life will
end has actually helped me to live more passionately. I think others
have discovered the same phenomenon.

Journalists Bill and Judith Moyers documented death and dying in the
U.S. They discovered that many terminal patients they interviewed
actually began to live with joy and passion only after they learned
they were dying. Like one man said, "If you are told you will never
see spring again, and you live to see spring, spring takes on a whole
new life." ("Modern Maturity," Sept. /Oct. 2000)

Psychologist Abraham Maslow had a similar experience. After his first
heart attack he realized that his remaining days on earth were short.
He wrote about it to a friend: "My river never seemed so beautiful
(Maslow lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the Charles River). The
confrontation with death -- and reprieve from it -- makes everything
look so precious, so sacred, so beautiful and I feel more strongly
than ever the impulse to love it, to embrace it, and to let myself be
overwhelmed by it...."

Can you imagine feeling that way? He ends with this remarkable
statement: "Death and its ever present possibility makes love,
passionate love, more possible. I wonder if we could love
passionately, if ecstasy would be possible at all, if we knew we'd
never die."

Why wait until we are told by a doctor that we may not have much time
to live. Aren't we all terminal? We became so at birth. And that is a
wonderful thing to know. For strange as it may seem, knowing life is
all too short can help us to live ... beautifully, meaningfully,

It is a matter of embracing every day as if it were your last. Saying
what needs to be said today. Making plans to do today what you've been
putting off. And taking some time maybe just to do nothing but
appreciate life.

Like Emily says in Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town": "Do any human
beings ever realize life while they live it -- every, every minute?" I
hope that I can say, "Yes, at least a few times, I think I really

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, March 21, 2011


Geometrical floor mosaic design - “Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.”

If you are like me, there are some things you may feel you do pretty
well, and others that you would not admit to having done even at
gunpoint! Please don't expect anything I build with my hands to remain
standing past sundown, or anything I attempt to repair to ever stay
fixed after I leave the room. And if my cars relied solely on me to
keep them going, I would walk most everywhere I go.

On the other hand, I do play guitar adequately and I can make a
memorable enchilada dish. I also enjoy working with people and I seem
to have made it a lifelong project to learn how to become a better

I never thought of myself as one who has any great talent, but like
each of us, I have certain skills and abilities. Let me tell you a
story, however, I once heard speaker Les Brown relate. It's a story
about a man who had real talent.

This particular man played piano in a bar. He was a good piano player.
People came out just to hear him and his combo play. But one night, a
patron wanted them to sing a particular song. The trio didn't sing
much and declined.

But the customer was persistent. He told the bartender, "I'm tired of
listening to the piano. I want that guy to sing!"

The bartender shouted across the room, "Hey buddy! If you want to get
paid, sing the song. The patrons are asking you to sing!"

So he did. He sang a song. A jazz piano player who had never sung the
song in public did so for the very first time. And nobody had ever
heard Sweet Lorraine sung the way it was sung that night by Nat King

He had talent he was sitting on. He may have lived the rest of his
life playing in a jazz trio in no-name bars, but because he had to
sing, he went on to become one of the best-known entertainers in

You, too, have skills and abilities. You may not feel as if your
"talent" is particularly great, but it may be better than you think!
And with persistence, most skills can be improved. Besides, you may as
well have no ability at all if you sit on whatever talent you possess.

Some people ask, "What ability do I have that is useful?" But the
better question is: "How will I use the ability that I have?"

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, March 19, 2011


IMG00602Intricate 1/60 Scale Gundam Robot model kit - “Every survival kit should include a sense of humor”

I enjoy a story about baseball great Joe Garagiola. He once stepped to the plate when his turn came to bat. Before assuming his stance, however, fervent Roman Catholic Joe took his bat and made the sign of the cross in the dirt in front of home plate. Catcher Yogi Berra, also a devout Catholic, walked over and erased Garagiola's cross. Turning to the astonished batter, Berra smiled and said, "Let's let God watch this inning."

If I were God (and thank goodness I'm not), I think I would have wanted to simply watch the inning.

I likewise appreciate the story about an old Quaker who stood during the church meeting and told his fellow Friends about a young man who was not a Quaker and who lived an undisciplined life. This young man invited a pious Quaker friend to go sailing one day. A sudden storm came up and the wild young man was drowned. Having made his point, the old Quaker sat down.

Silence returned to the meeting until the old man once again arose. This time he said, "Friends, for the honor of the truth, I think I ought to add that the Quaker also drowned."

And if I were God (and again, thank goodness I'm not), I think I would have felt sadness for both losses. Neither was a greater tragedy than the other.

I know that religious piety can be a wondrous and beautiful thing. But it disturbs me the prominent role religions have historically played in wars and brutality over the ages. If I imagine a god so small as to favor those who think like me, worship like me and act like me, then I know very little of life and less of faith. I can't help but think this world would be in better shape if the gods most of us believed in were a little bigger.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Revoltech fraulein Pocco "Sweet Dreams" action figure - “Somewhere there is someone that dreams of your smile, and finds in your presence that life is worthwhile, so when you are lonely remember it’s true, someone somewhere is thinking of you.”

A few years ago I read of a Ukraine businessman who bought a pager for
each member of his staff as a New Year's gift. As he was returning
from the pager shop, all 50 beepers on the back seat of his automobile
simultaneously burst out screeching. He was so alarmed that he drove
his car into a lamp post, just 100 meters from his office.

After he assessed the damage to the car, the businessman turned his
attention to the message on the 50 pagers. It read: "Congratulations
on a successful purchase!" (Reuters, Jan. 14, 1999)

That got his attention. Unfortunately, it's the bad news – newspaper
headlines and world events – that generally clamor the loudest to get

And there is enough bad news all around. I came across an article that
reported a study of a large group of people who were instructed to
evaluate all the information they received for a year and a half. They
were asked to record whether what they were seeing and hearing all day
long was positive or negative. These researchers determined that
ninety percent of the input the group received was negative – bad

That may not come as a surprise to everyone. Over a half-century ago,
Franklin Roosevelt told about an old man who was losing his hearing
and went to the doctor for help. He was advised to quit drinking
alcohol. When his family asked him what he was going to do, he
replied, "Well, I've given it a lot of thought and I've decided I like
what I've been drinkin' so much better than what I've been hearin',
just gonna keep on gettin' deaf."

But there is still GOOD news aplenty. We can still hear encouraging
words from friends. Any day we can witness numerous acts of generosity
and kindness. And we can still spot signs all around us of love and
hope. Sometimes we may have to look a little more closely, but the
good news is there.

Are you finding it? It's worth the effort.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


China antique pottery - “Friendship is like a expensive china. It can be fixed when it is broken, but the crack will remain.”

The young parents paid the babysitter and dropped her off at home. As
she turned to leave, she said, "By the way, I promised Amy that if
she went to bed, you'd buy her a pony in the morning." Ouch.... (I
understand that she is unemployed these days….)

It doesn't take long for parents to learn that, if they want their
children to trust them, they will have to keep some promises. So a
good parent will model the importance of keeping trust in the hopes
of teaching their children to be trustworthy.

When people trust us, it is like having money in the bank. In an
actual bank account, we will first make deposits if we expect to
later make withdrawals. When we keep our word, it's like making a
deposit into a trust fund. The more deposits we make, the larger our
balance becomes.

And the opposite is also true. Whenever we break our word and lose
trust, it is like withdrawing money from an account. Except that what
we withdraw is goodwill.

Now imagine that you have a separate trust fund with every person you
know. If you have been making regular deposits into your account with
that individual, when the time comes that you disappoint, you will
still have a large enough balance of goodwill to cover the debt. That
friend, son or mother will realize that your account is still good.
You are a person of good intent. You are reliable and trustworthy.

Scottish writer George MacDonald said, "To be trusted is a greater
compliment than to be loved." Whether or not that is true, I would
rather have a healthy emotional trust fund than a large bank account.
Trust is more valuable than money – and it builds strong

Are your trust funds growing?

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, March 13, 2011


A morning at the open air market place - “Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom.”

Dante, the Florentine poet of the Middle Ages, knocked at the door of
a Franciscan monastery at Lunigiana. He was asked, "What do you want?"

Dante replied, "Peace." I think that maybe he was speaking for a lot
of us -- especially these days. But how do you find peace?

If you're not ready for a stay in the monastery, I think one way to
find peace is to look within. Get yourself grounded. Let me explain.

One winter morning I drove down the steep mountain roadway leading
from my home. I was traveling slowly, actually just inching forward
down the icy road. But the car had no traction. It was all I could do
to keep it pointed downhill as I slipped and slid on the ice. Then I
lost control and gravity took over. The car began a slow motion spin
as it slid on its own down to the bottom of the hill. When it finally
came to a stop, I was thankfully still on the roadway, but now facing
the wrong direction.

My problem was traction. What had separated me from the ground's
surface was just a thin sheet of ice. If I could have only made
contact with the ground, I'd have remained in control. I needed to be

I think life is like that. People who are not grounded lose control of
the direction they are heading. It is easy to slip and slide, hoping
to grasp onto something real. Or just hoping for a safe landing.

Nancy SantoPietro wrote a book called FENG SHUI: HARMONY BY
DESIGN. In it she says, "In your lifetime the most sacred space you
will ever need to create is the space within yourself -- the place
deep within your soul where you go to find peace and serenity…." She's
talking about being grounded.

Finding the peace we need is really a spiritual issue. Get yourself
grounded and you can navigate even the stormiest roads in peace.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, March 11, 2011


Gardening sickle hand tools for sale - “A bad sheerer never had a good sickle.”

We place great emphasis on a narrow idea of physical beauty.

In an American history discussion group, the professor was trying to
explain how, throughout history, the concept of "beauty" changes with
time. "For example," he said, "take the 1921 Miss America. She stood
five-foot-one inch tall, weighed 108 pounds and sported a 30-inch
bust, a 25-inch waist and 32-inch hips. How do you think she'd do in
today's version of the contest?"

The class fell silent for a moment. Then one student piped up, "Not
very well."

"Why is that?" asked the professor.

"For one thing," the student pointed out, "she'd be way too old."

Good point -- she'd be way too old. But beauty is a peculiar thing,
for it means something a little different to each of us. And it isn't
always about appearance. Sometimes beauty is a quality that softly
shines from inner depths. And you may actually radiate more inner
beauty than you realize.

An elderly woman noticed that her granddaughter felt embarrassed by
her freckles. "I love your freckles," she said, kneeling beside the
girl and admiring her face.

"Not me," the child replied.

"Well, when I was a little girl I always wanted freckles," the
grandmother said, tracing her finger across the child's cheek.
"Freckles are beautiful."

The girl looked up. "Really?"

"Of course," said her grandmother. "Why just name one thing that's
prettier than freckles."

The little girl peered into the old woman's smiling face, aglow with
kindness and love. "Wrinkles," she answered softly.

The physical beauty of youth will fade. But the beauty of a spirit,
when nurtured, can grow forever.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Baked beans and fried eggs for breakfast - “You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by the way he eats jelly beans.”

You've heard it said that the best things in life aren't things. This
truth is illustrated well by Andrea Jaeger.

At age 14 Andrea won her first professional tennis tournament. At 15,
she was the youngest player ever to be seeded at Wimbledon, a record
she held for 10 years. She won again and again until, at 18 years old,
she reached the finals of Wimbledon. But at age 19, a shoulder injury
brought her career to an end.

Her body was injured, but not her spirit. Andrea Jaeger no longer
serves up aces on the court, but she is serving society. She has
dedicated her time and money to bringing hope and joy to children who
are suffering from cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. She
runs her own organization full time, year-round, unpaid.

"You get very spoiled on the pro tour," she says. "The courtesy cars,
the five-star hotels, all the people clapping because you hit a good
shot. It's easy to forget what's important in life."

She forgets a lot less lately.

Her life is an example of what can happen when one concentrates on
"what's important in life." It has been said that the main cause for
failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you
want at the moment. And if the best things in life are not things,
then what do you want most? What Andrea wants most in life is to help
other people. And I'll wager she is fulfilled and happy because of her
dedication to a purpose bigger than herself.

What if you traded what you want at the moment for what you want
most -- if you remember what is important in life and try to do that?
The life you build would be no less than incredible.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, March 7, 2011


Refurbished parts packing box - “To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.”

Just as the delivery van pulled away from the florist, the manager
came running out. There was a cancellation on one of the orders, and
he needed it back.

"Which one?" asked the driver.

"The one that reads 'Darling, I will love you forever.' "

When we "fall in love," who doesn't feel that it will last forever?
But we change. And as we do, our love changes, too.

Do you remember the touching interchange between Tevye and Golde in
the musical "Fiddler on the Roof"?

"Do you love me?" Tevye asked his wife.

"Do I what?" Golde responded.

"Do you love me?"

"Do I love you? With our daughters getting married and this trouble in
the town, you are upset, you are worn out, go inside, go lie down,
maybe its indigestion. "

"Golde, I'm asking you a question. Do you love me?"

"You're a fool."

"I know, but do you love me?"

"For twenty-five years I've washed your clothes, cooked your meals,
cleaned your house, given you children, milked the cow. After
twenty-five years, why speak of love right now? I'm your wife," she

"But do you love me?"

Now Golde becomes reflective. "For twenty-five years I've lived with
him, fought with him, starved with him. Twenty-five years my bed is
his. If that's not love, what is?"

"Then you love me?"

"I suppose I do."

"It's nice to know."

And it IS nice to know, for twenty five years is a long time. Time
enough for things to change. Time enough to quit.

My wife and I were married when we were young. And I have to say, I
don't love her like I used to. I've changed, and so has she. Enough
years will do that. We've been through ups and downs. We grew older.
And my feelings for her grew older, too.

The relationship feels more secure now. I think it is a better love
than years ago – more enduring. More solid. Like the two of us, our
love grew up.

And maybe she could live the rest of her life without saying, "I love
you." I know how she feels. But she says it anyway.

And it's nice to know.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Inflatable children's playground - “It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents.”

Whoever said it first got it right: "Life is too short for drama and
petty things, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive
quickly." What a wise and wonderful way to live – but not as easy as
it seems.

Personally, I'm all for lingering kisses, raucous laughter, and true
love. I can't wait. But the idea of forgiving quickly is a tough one.
It certainly belongs on the list; it's just that it doesn't come
easily. How I enjoy my righteous indignation. Forgiving can be like
drinking bitter medicine; I have to force myself to swallow … and even
that in small doses.

In his audio book “Living Faith” (Random House Audio Books, 1996),
U.S. President Jimmy Carter talks about forgiving quickly. He says
that without the knowledge that he can be forgiven, it would be
impossible for him to face his own shortcomings.

He relates that both he and his wife, Rosalynn, are "strong-willed"
persons who find it difficult to admit being at fault.

One day, after a particularly harsh argument, Carter decided that he
would never let another day end with each of them angry with the
other. So he went out to his wood shop and cut a thin piece of walnut,
a little smaller than a bank check. On it, he carved the words, "Each
evening forever this is good for an apology or forgiveness, as you
desire." That evening, he gave the plaque to Rosalynn. He reports
that, so far, he has been able to honor it each time Rosalyn has
presented it to him.

With his plaque, Carter made it possible for them to forgive quickly.
They created a climate where it became safe to admit mistakes and
where it was expected that those mistakes would be forgiven.

I suspect that if we can forgive quickly, we won't have much problem
with all of the kissing, laughing and loving. And we'll probably do
more of it.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Porcelain mugs with Chinese painting - “Common clay must go through the heat and fire of the furnace to become porcelain. But once porcelain , it can never become clay again.”

Theodore Levitt, of the Harvard Business School, said, "Experience
comes from what we have done. Wisdom comes from what we have done
badly." Theodore Levitt sounds like a wise person. I wonder what he's
done badly.

Based on his reasoning, I must be bursting with wisdom. Over the
years, I've racked up an impressive number of things that haven't gone
too well.

But put another way, wisdom is what the school of life gives us with
every poor report card. Wisdom is hard won, and it is often birthed in
the ashes of failure.

One man tells of meeting one of the truly "wise" ones among us on a
flight to Florida. He was preparing his notes for a parent-education
seminar he was to conduct there. Bessie, an older woman sitting next
to him, explained that she was returning home after having spent two
weeks visiting her six children, 18 grandchildren and ten
great-grandchildren .

Then she asked him what he did for a living. The man explained that he
was a psychologist specializing in children. He dreaded telling her
this, as he fully expected her to probe him for free professional
advice during the three-hour flight. But not this wise woman. Instead,
she sat back, picked up a magazine and said, "So doctor, if there's
anything you want to know, just ask me."

Bessie's years of parenting and grand-parenting gave her what no
professional degrees could – it gave her hard won wisdom. Much of what
she knew about children could only be learned through experience,
including experiences of failure.

I really don't worry about the things I've done badly. If I paid
attention to what went wrong and why, then even my most spectacular
failures gave something priceless back – they taught valuable lessons.
Sometimes wisdom can't be gotten any other way.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Building foundation construction in progress - “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

"Well, what do you expect?" Has anybody ever asked you that?

Sometimes, my greatest disappointments have come because I expected
something that was simply not realistic.

You may know that Robert Lucas won the 1995 Nobel Memorial Prize in
economics. His ex-wife received half of his $1 million award. Yes, his
EX-wife. As it happened, when they were divorcing in 1988, she had her
lawyer add one tiny clause to the property settlement: "Wife shall
receive 50 percent of any Nobel prize." And her clause had an
expiration date: October 31, 1995. He won the prize on October 10.

One would think that her expectation of him winning a Nobel Prize
might be irrational. How many people do that? It's something like my
winning the Iron Man Marathon by the year 3000. That just won't

But the difference is that I don't train, and she seemed to be sure
that it was only a matter of time before his outstanding work would be
recognized in such a way. Within seven years, she thought. So it
turned out her expectation was entirely rational. (Ironically, Lucas
was honored for an economic theory he called, "Rational
Expectations. ")

I admittedly know nothing about Lucas' Theory of Rational Expectations
in economics. But I do know something about irrational expectations
among people. And I know that irrational expectations can cause untold

Like the expectation that someone else will make me happy. This is
irrational. Nobody can make me happy. That is my job. If I expect
others to make me happy or to keep me happy, I know I will be
disappointed again and again.

Or the expectation that life should be, for the most part, relatively
easy and problem free. This, too, is irrational. Bad things happen.
Living can be difficult. If I expect things to be easy, if I expect
NOT to have problems, if I expect to avoid pain and heartache, I know
I will be in for serious disappointment. Problems are here to stay.

I don't mean to paint a picture of life as bleak and miserable. It isn't.
In fact, I think it is amazingly wonderful. And all the more wonderful
when I don't expect too much out of it. I expect problems, but I also
expect to find joy. I do not expect others to always please me, but I
do expect to be responsible for my own well-being.

So…what did you expect? I think if you can answer that question well,
you can expect to be much happier.

From Lifesupport

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