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“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” – Les Brown

Our time here is precious and finite. How do you want to live it — by pursuing your dreams regardless of the outcome — or tamping down your expectations and risk of disappointment? Pope John XXIII is quoted as saying, “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” In other words, live the life you imagine.

Do you dismiss your dreams OR take your dreams seriously?

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“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Many people are mindlessly walking through life, working from limiting thoughts, living in the past or in the future — but not in the present. One surefire way to step into the present moment is to practice mindfulness. In her book Mindfulness, renowned psychologist Ellen Langer writes: “Regardless of how we get there, either through meditation or more directly by paying attention to novelty and questioning assumptions, to be mindful is to be in the present, noticing all the wonders that we didn’t realize were right in front of us.”

Do you succumb to the tedium of life OR find the extraordinary in the ordinary?

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“Progress is relatively fast in fields that apply knowledge to the material world, such as physics or genetics. But it is painfully slow when knowledge is to be applied to modify our own habits and desires.” -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

In 2016, with Google and Amazon and instantaneous information, shopping, and delivery, the words patience and “delayed gratification” seem to have departed from our daily lexicon. Bear in mind, though, that the world of commerce is a completely separate universe from the world of relationships. It takes time to cultivate a long term relationship and requires patience, especially during difficult times.

How do you approach the relationships in your life? Do you look for the quick fix OR have patience?

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

Consider these two types of people: The first is an open hearted person, giving of their time, money, and knowledge. This person views the world as big enough for everyone to succeed and acts accordingly. The second person is tightfisted, stingy, and self-protective. Any success that you achieve is perceived as taking away from what is potentially theirs.

Who would you rather spend time with – who would you rather be? Do you tend to be ungenerous OR do you act generously?

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“One’s suffering disappears when one lets oneself go, when one yields – even to sadness.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Have you ever seen those “How Do You Feel?” posters with row after row of facial expressions and descriptions of the emotions underneath? These posters are often used in schools to teach children to recognize their feelings and express them in a safe and healthy way. Somewhere from childhood to adulthood, as a result of the slings and arrows of life, we may learn to suppress our uncomfortable feelings as a form of self-protection. And while avoiding discomfort may be our intention, when we shut down one emotion, we affect all of our emotions.

Do you tend to suppress your tears and fears OR give yourself permission to be human?