You’re only a stranger once

Archive for April, 2014

A True Picture Story Of Lion & A Baboon (Good Ending)

Photographer Evan Schiller and Lisa Holzwarth were on a game drive in northern Botswana when they encountered a massive group of thirty to forty chaotic baboons charging by them.

It soon became clear that the baboons were startled by a few lions that were chasing them. The lions were roaring while the baboons were screaming. Everything was in complete disarray.

Amazingly, the two photographers were able to capture a stunning interaction that happened in the midst of the mayhem.
A female baboon tried to make a run for it but unfortunately wasn’t lucky. A lioness grabbed it immediately in her jaws.

Little did she know, a baby baboon, less than 1 month old, soon emerged from next to the mother’s body.

Immediately, the scared baby baboon quickly tried to make an escape but it was too weak to climb far. The lioness was surprised and went over to find out what was happening.

Surprisingly, instead of going for the kill, the lioness began to play with the baby baboon.

The baby was showing signs of physical harm and fatigue from the whole ordeal. The lioness picked the baby up in her mouth

Surprisingly, the baby baboon responded. It soon began to hold on to the lioness’ chest and even attempted to suckle.

Suddenly, two male lions arrived to the scene. The lioness immediately showed signs of aggression towards them. Was she defending the new baby she found?

All the while, the father baboon was watching everything from away and waiting for the right time to come for the save. As he descended from the tree, he would test the interest and responses of the lions each time to not draw sudden attention to himself.

He finally made the move and snatched the baby up at the first moment he could! Father baboon saves the day!

Happy ending indeed.

 

Things You Should Stop Expecting from Others

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The biggest disappointments in our lives are often the result of misplaced expectations.  This is especially true when it comes to our relationships and interactions with others.

Tempering your expectations of other people will greatly reduce unnecessary frustration and suffering, in both your life and theirs, and help you refocus on the things that truly matter.

Which means it’s time to…

1.  Stop expecting them to agree with you.

You deserve to be happy.  You deserve to live a life you are excited about.  Don’t let the opinions of others make you forget that.  You are not in this world to live up to the expectations of others, nor should you feel that others are here to live up to yours.  In fact, the more you approve of your own decisions in life, the less approval you need from everyone else.

You have to dare to be yourself, and follow you own intuition, however frightening or strange that may feel or prove to be.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  Don’t get discouraged by their progress or success.  Follow your own path and stay true to your own purpose.  Success is ultimately about spending your life happily in your own way.

2.  Stop expecting them to respect you more than you respect yourself.

True strength is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.  It’s about having faith and trust in who you are, and a willingness to act upon it.  Decide this minute to never again beg anyone for the love, respect, and attention that you should be showing yourself.

Today, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you, and from now on I’m going to act like it.”  It’s important to be nice to others, but it’s even more important to be nice to yourself.  When you practice self-love and self-respect, you give yourself the opportunity to be happy.  When you are happy, you become a better friend, a better family member, and a better YOU.

3.  Stop expecting (and needing) them to like you.

You might feel unwanted and unworthy to one person, but you are priceless to another.  Don’t ever forget your worth.  Spend time with those who value you.  No matter how good you are to people, there will always be one negative person who criticizes you.  Smile, ignore them, and carry on.

In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, the toughest battle you’ll ever have to fight is the battle to be yourself.  And as you’re fighting back, not everyone will like you.  Sometimes people will call you names because you’re “different.”  But that’s perfectly OK.  The things that make you different are the things that make YOU, and the right people will love you for it.

4.  Stop expecting them to fit your idea of who they are.

Loving and respecting others means allowing them to be themselves.  When you stop expecting people to be a certain way, you can begin to appreciate THEM.

Pay close attention, and respect people for who they are and not for who you want them to be.  We don’t know most people half as well as we believe we do; and truly knowing someone is a big part of what makes them wonderful.  Every human being is remarkable and beautiful; it just takes a patient set of eyes to see it.  The more you get to know someone, the more you will be able to look beyond their appearance and see the beauty of who they truly are.

5.  Stop expecting them to know what you’re thinking.

People can’t read minds.  They will never know how you feel unless you tell them.  Your boss?  Yeah, he doesn’t know you’re hoping for a promotion because you haven’t told him yet.  That cute guy you haven’t talked to because you’re too shy?  Yeah, you guessed it, he hasn’t given you the time of day simply because you haven’t given him the time of day either.

In life, you have to communicate with others regularly and effectively.  And often, you have to open your vocal cords and speak the first words.  You have to tell people what you’re thinking.  It’s as simple as that.

6.  Stop expecting them to suddenly change.

If there’s a specific behavior someone you care about has that you’re hoping disappears over time, it probably won’t.  If you really need them to change something, be honest and put all the cards on the table so this person knows how you feel and what you need them to do.

For the most part though, you can’t change people and you shouldn’t try.  Either you accept who they are or you choose to live without them.  It’s might sound harsh, but it’s not.  When you try to change people, they often remain the same, but when you don’t try to change them – when you support them and allow them the freedom to be as they are – they gradually change in the most beautiful way.  Because what really changes is the way you see them.

7.  Stop expecting them to be “OK.”

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle, just like you.  Every smile or sign of strength hides an inner struggle every bit as complex and extraordinary as your own.

Remember that embracing your light doesn’t mean ignoring your dark.  We are measured by our ability to overcome adversities and insecurities, not avoid them.  Supporting, sharing and making contributions to other people is one of life’s greatest rewards.  This happens naturally if we allow it, because we all share very similar dreams, needs and struggles.  Once we accept this, the world then is a place where we can look someone else in the eye and say, “I’m lost and struggling at the moment,” and they can nod and say, “Me too,” and that’s OK.  Because not being “OK” all the time, is perfectly OK.

40 Amazing Things You Will Never Forget

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Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late.  For everything you lose, you gain something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else.  You don’t have to like it, but it’s just easier if you do.

Every day you can either regret or rejoice; it’s your choice.  When you choose the latter, life opens doors to amazing experiences you will likely remember forever.  Here are 40 such experiences…

 

  1. Flowing and working through life’s great challenges. – No matter what happens, do your best and smile.  You won’t enjoy your life if you don’t enjoy your challenges.  Great challenges make life interesting, and overcoming them makes life meaningful.
  2. The freedom that comes from acceptance. – The secret to happiness and peace is letting every situation be what it is, instead of what you think it should be, and then making the best of it.
  3. Moments of sincere gratitude. – Appreciate life even when it’s not ideal.  Happiness is not the fulfillment of what we wish for, but an appreciation for what we have.  When life gives you every reason to be negative, think of one good reason to be positive.  There’s always something to be grateful for.
  4. The beautiful happenings that made it all worthwhile. – When you can look back on painful events and feel that you were blessed for how you grew, for the love you knew, for the very fact that you did live through those times, then, and only then, can you truly appreciate gratitude’s vital role in the process of letting go.
  5. Walking comfortably in your own shoes. – We are all weird in some way. What sets you apart may seem like a burden, but it’s not.  Most of the time it’s what makes you so incredible.
  6. The moment you start listening to your inner voice, rather than defying it. – Sometimes your mind needs more time to accept what your heart already knows.  Breathe.  Be a witness, not a judge.  Listen to your intuition.
  7. Aligning what you do with who you are. – Make the rest of your life the best of your life.  Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.
  8. Using your unique ideas, perspectives, and skills to make a difference. – If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world, and you must be bold enough to show it.
  9. Designing your own life, your own way. – No matter how you live, someone will be disappointed.  So live a life you are proud of.  Live YOUR truth and be sure YOU aren’t the one who is disappointed in the end.
  10. Working hard on something you love. – Hard work becomes easy when your work becomes your play.  Never underestimate the value of loving what you do.  When we lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there, too.
  11. Knowing deep down that you gave your dreams a fair chance. – Most of the time the only difference between a dream that came true and one that didn’t, is a person who wouldn’t give up and one who did.
  12. Reflections of your own bravery. – When you’re scared but you take the next step anyway, that’s bravery.
  13. The glory of conquering an old fear. – Fear is a feeling, not a fact.  The best way to gain strength and self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.  Dare to stretch yourself.
  14. Being courageous enough to grow and evolve. – It takes courage to grow and become who you really are.  Don’t fear change.  You may lose something good, but you may also gain something great.
  15. The way you feel at the end of highly productive days. – Laziness may appear attractive, but work leads to happiness.  You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.  Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work on meaningful goals.
  16. When your patience finally pays off. – Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act and how hard you are willing to work while you’re waiting for your work to pay off.
  17. Making the impossible possible. – In most cases, impossible is not a fact; it’s an opinion.  Almost anything is possible if you’ve got enough time and enough nerve.
  18. When you have a great reason to be impressed with yourself. – Spend less time impressing others and more time impressing yourself.  Climb a mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.
  19. Engaging deeply in your own journey, drama-free. – Let the tasks of refining, improving, and appreciating your own life keep you so busy that you have no need and no time to criticize others, or engage in their drama.
  20. Standing up for yourself. – Sometimes we suffer, not because of the violence others inflict on us, but because of our own silence.  When someone tries to bully you, stand up for yourself and say, “Not so fast, buddy!  Your delusion of superiority is your problem, not mine.
  21. Relationships that make you a better person. – Know that it’s less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.  Surround yourself with people who make you better, and cherish every moment of your time together.
  22. Knowing deep down that you truly matter to someone else. – Someday you will be just a memory to some people.  Do your best to be a great one.
  23. True intimate love. – True love is not about how many days, months or years you’ve been with someone.  True love is about how much you actually love each other every day.
  24. Appreciating the beautiful imperfections of another person. – Imperfection is real and beautiful.  It’s how two people accept and deal with the imperfections of their relationship, that make it ideal in the end.
  25. Following through with your promises. – Unless a real commitment is made there are only empty promises and hopes, but no real plans or results.  Remember, commitment means staying loyal and keeping a promise long after the mood you made the promise in has left you.
  26. Giving a struggling soul a little extra leeway. – Don’t be so quick to judge.  The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about.
  27. Helping someone who desperately needs your kindness. – Those who are hardest to love often need it the most.  So treat everyone with kindness, even those who are rude.  Give them a chance.
  28. Knowing you did the right thing. – True integrity is doing the right thing, no matter what, even when nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.
  29. Seeing genuine smile you helped create. – Few things are more satisfying than helping someone else smile a little more than before.
  30. Coming to a loving compromise with someone special. – Sometimes we must choose to be wrong, not because we really are wrong, but because we value our relationship more than our pride.
  31. Moments of mindful presence. – If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in?  Stop over thinking and worrying.  Life is too short for that.  Worry and rumination are the worst enemies to living happily in the present.  Take a moment here and there to just be and breathe.
  32. The liberation of letting go. – Letting go of the past is your first step toward happiness.  So finish each day before you begin the next, and build a solid foundation of rest between the two.
  33. The process of growing through failure. – Remember, your failure does not define you, your determination does.  Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, smarter than before.
  34. When the sun finally shines through the dark clouds again. – Don’t give up on yourself.  Keep fighting.  Sometimes you’ve got to go through the worst of times to get the best.
  35. Surprising new beginnings. – Every ending is the beginning of something else.  Every exit is an entry somewhere else.  As long as you are breathing, it’s never too late; every day is a new opportunity.
  36. The nimble feeling of being a beginner. – Allow yourself to be a beginner.  No one starts off being great.  Do the best you can until you know better.  When you know better, do better.
  37. The exhilaration of first time experiences. – You can see or do something a million times, but you can only see or do it for the first time once.  And that makes doing so worth it.  Many of the great times you will remember for a lifetime are the ones when you stepped outside of your comfort zone and tried something new.
  38. Becoming a parent. – Being a mother or father is discovering strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed.
  39. The happiness YOU create for yourself and those you love. – In life, you often have to create your own sunshine.  So read something positive every morning when you wake up, and let it inspire you to do something positive before you go back to sleep at night.  That’s how memorable days are made.
  40. Every moment you are busy living through love. – Today is one of the good ol’ days you’re going to miss someday.  So be sooo busy loving your life and those in it that you have no time for hate, regret or fear.

Your turn…

Truth be told, talking about our problems is our greatest addiction.  Let’s break this negative habit and talk about our joys, our loves, and our victories instead.  So tell me this:

What makes life amazing?  What makes a moment worth remembering?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Chances You Will Not Regret Taking in Life

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Life is about trusting yourself and taking chances, losing and finding happiness, learning from experience, appreciating the memories, and realizing that every step is worth your while…  But you’ve got to be willing to take each step.  You’ve got to give yourself a fair chance.

So here are some chances I would take if I were you – that I know you will not regret:

  1. Trusting your intuition on new opportunities. – Life is too short to wait.  Every new day is another chance to change your life.  Every great accomplishment starts with the decision to try.  Trust that little voice inside your head that says, “What if…” and then GO DO IT.  Give yourself a fair chance.  You would be surprised how often “what if” works.  And no, you’re not obligated to win every time.  You’re obligated to keep trying – to do the best you can do every day – to improve upon what you learned yesterday.
  2. Believing in your own abilities. – You have everything you need within you to become the best possible version of yourself.  Believe that you CAN.  Believe that you’re capable of pushing harder and farther than you have before.  Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, smart enough and strong enough to achieve your goals.  Don’t let false beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.  And certainly don’t get sidetracked by other people who are not on track.
  3. Making moves in the face of fear. – It’s often difficult to grow into your greatest self, but it’s a tragedy to let the lie of fear stop you.  So realize right now that fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in your head.  Be courageous.  Go after your goals.  Never let your fear steer your present or decide your future.  And remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is far more important than fear.
  4. Taking a step forward today. – You will be dead one day.  Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s true.  The question is: Are you choosing to live right now?  Take a moment and think about.  Life doesn’t start when “this, that, or the other thing” is resolved.  This IS your time.  Life is now.  Do something with it.  Don’t wait it away.
  5. Making your goals a priority. – If you want to live a happy, fulfilling life, tie yourself to meaningful goals, not just to people and things.  Never put off or give up on something that’s important to you… not because you still have tomorrow to start or try again, but because you may not have tomorrow at all.  Life is shorter than it sometimes seems.  Make today count.  Take just one small step a day.  Approach the start of every day with one little goal and end the day with one little word.  DONE!
  6. Working hard even when it hurts. – Remember, personal growth in all walks of life is a slow, steady process.  It can’t be rushed.  You need to work on it gradually every day.  There is ample time for you to be who you want to be in life.  Don’t settle for less than what you think you deserve, or less than you know you can be.  Despite the struggles you’ll inevitably face along the way, never give up on yourself.  You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as capable as you have ever imagined.  Keep going.
  7. Upholding your standards. – What’s dreadful is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate.  To pretend that you don’t need love and respect when you do.  To lie to yourself and say everything is OK, when it isn’t.  Or to convince yourself that you like your work when you know darn well you’re capable of much better.  Bottom line: Love yourself enough to never lower your standards for the wrong reasons.
  8. Bouncing back after rejection or failure. – When you are rejected from something good, it often means you’re being redirected to something better.  Be patient.  Be positive.  And remember, no matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  9. Owning your situation. – Even when the going gets tough, own it!  If you’re struggling at a job you don’t love, look at it this way: you’re choosing to make a living to pay your mortgage, support your family, and fuel your dreams.  Don’t resist it; own it – that’s where your power is.  If you’re in a relationship that’s causing you pain, you’re choosing to be in it.  Maybe staying will lead to essential growth or a breakthrough or a deeper understanding of love.  Or not.  But you’re choosing to be in or out, right now.  Whichever you choose, own it – that’s where your power is.
  10. Smiling anyway. – Don’t let one bad moment ruin your day.  Think of it as a bad minute, not a bad day, and you’ll be OK.  Stress begins when your worry list is longer than your gratitude list.  Happiness begins when your gratitude list is longer than your worry list.  So find something to be thankful for today.  Be sure to appreciate what you’ve got.  Be thankful for the little things in life that mean a lot.
  11. Being sincerely kind to everyone. – Kindness in words creates confidence and motivation.  Kindness in thinking creates positivity and possibility.  Kindness in giving creates strength and love.  Through kindness you have the ability to make a profound difference in every life you touch, including your own.  When you guide someone who is lost and confused, when you hold someone who is sad and grieving, when you hug someone who has lost all their hope, you too will feel yourself healing and growing stronger.  So do your little bit of good right where you are, because it’s these little bits of good put together that change the world.
  12. Helping others create a better life for themselves. – Who you affect is more powerful than who you are at any given moment.  Because nothing is as enduring as a great memory.  In the end, its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, and feelings that last.  Stone cracks.  Wood rots.  Skin dies.  But great thoughts, beautiful experiences, and inspiring legends… they live forever.  If you can change the way people think and feel, the way they see themselves, and the way they interpret the world, it means you can change the way they live their lives, and how they affect others.  That is, by far, the longest lasting thing you can create.
  13. Living with integrity and honor. – Integrity is choosing your actions based on moral values rather than personal gain.  It’s about living honorably.  It’s about doing the right thing, no matter what, even when nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.  At the end of the day, your reputation is what other people know about you.  Your honor is what you know about yourself.
  14. Being weird in your own way. – We are all weird.  Life is weird.  And when we find weirdness in the world that makes us want to work hard, we call it passion.  And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we call it love.  And if we zoom the lens way out, so we can see all the weird people of the world doing their thing, we realize being weird isn’t that weird after all.  It’s human nature.
  15. Opening yourself to love. – Your greatest task isn’t to find love, but to discover and eliminate all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.  Even when you’re afraid, keep trusting – keep your heart and mind wide open.  Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of love.  As you find the good that exists in others and situations, you discover the love that exists within you.
  16. Closing the door on old news. – Holding on to what’s no longer there holds too many of us back.  Some of us spend the vast majority of our lives recounting the past and letting it steer the course of the present.  Don’t waste your time trying to live in another time and place.  Let it GO!  You must accept the end of something in order to begin to build something new.  So close some old doors today.  Not because of pride, inability or egotism, but simply because you’ve entered each one of them in the past and realize that they lead to nowhere worth your while.
  17. Taking time to simply BE where you are. – You will always be missing out on something.  You simply can’t have it all.  Thus, it will always seem like something wonderful might be happening elsewhere.  And that’s OK.  Let it go, and realize you have everything right now.  The best in life isn’t somewhere else; it’s right where you are at this moment.  You have to accept that some things will never be yours, and learn to value the things that are only yours.
  18. Putting yourself out there and truly LIVING. – To laugh often and love genuinely.  To respect others and judge less.  To win the affection and sincere smiles of children.  To earn the regard of honest peers and endure the betrayal of fake friends.  To appreciate the beauty surrounding you wherever you are, whenever you are.  To find the good in people and situations.  To give what you can and leave the world a little better than you found it.  To have explored ideas and passions and sung at the top of your lungs in delight.  To know that at least one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is what LIVING is all about.

The floor is yours…

What are some other chances worth taking in life?  What’s one chance you have taken that you know you will never regret?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

 

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