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Dr. Don's 365 Snippets Of Wisdom

A Snippet of Encouragement for Abundant Living

(based upon his book How To Put Your Whole Self In)

August 18 — Don't Bother Being Defensive

Since defensive behavior is always harmful, stop being defensive. It takes two people to have a fight; make up your mind never to be the second person.

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August 17 — Get In Tune

The brief melody and lyrics of any life comprise no solo composition but are part of a vast choral production, a celestial oratorio directed by a Cosmic Composer.

August 16 — Find Happiness

Happiness is where we find it. The wonders of nature and of the beautiful people who surround us can overflow life and fill our days with pleasure and joy.

August 15 — Look Inside for the Joy

Thirteen-year-old Anne Frank was able to write in her famous journal, "Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy." She found joy in her heart and not at all in her circumstance.
We can too!

August 14 — Don't Be Too Sure

I'm grateful to be as uncertain of anything as some people are sure of everything.

August 13 — Take Control of Your Emotions

It is disappointing that some people can live a lifetime without learning that they are in charge of their feelings. To continually burden ourselves and those around us with a weight of negative and critical attitudes, feelings, and opinions would represent a terrible spiritual failure.

August 12 — Get the Darkness out of Your Heart

When someone cuts us off in traffic, it is inaccurate to say that the person made us angry. The person's action merely sets free the anger that we had in our spirit. Jesus wouldn't have been angered, for example. Or Mother Teresa. Or Gandhi. Or Buddha.

August 11 — Know When to Be Quiet

Let's express thoughts that preserve harmony and bring peace, or else hold our tongue. When we are at our best, circumstances will sometimes be able to make a song of our silences.

August 10 — Stop Answering That Door!

Whenever Depression knocks on my heart, seeking entrance, I send Hopefulness to answer the door.

August 9 — Focus On the Positive

Put your whole self into relationships with others by avoiding needlessly negative attitudes. Everybody at some point surely deserves your respect and even admiration. That's what we should focus on because it is what we would wish others to focus on when they look at use.

August 8 — Let Slander Pass

When someone says something bad about us that is not true, let's just let it go, consoling ourselves with the sure knowledge that the truth will eventually drive away the falsehood. Or if it is true then we should feel bad long enough to confess sincerely to anyone we wronged, and then just move on.

August 7 — Don't Defend Yourself

Never be defensive about anything. Attempts at revenge, justification, or getting even are always detrimental to your emotional health. Humility yields great social power and peace of mind.

August 6 — Don't Stop Loving

Following five decades of marriage I still enjoy giving my wife warm hugs at the beginning and ending of each day. Every time I leave her to run an errand I hug her again and we tell each other "I love you." Each time it feels good!

August 5 — Live with the Breaks Off

Full engagement with life requires us to throw ourselves into the processes of living — whether struggling with cancer or on vacation in Yosemite —by opening a Source of joy that is brighter than the darkness of disease and greater than Half Dome's mighty summit.

August 4 — Don't Gossip

A wise person avoids gossip both by not listening to it and by not spreading it to others. What good could be served by spreading negative information about another person regardless of whether or not it is true?

August 3 — Stop Looking for Gratitude

If I serve someone from a sense of true humility I will neither look for nor even particularly notice whether the person is grateful or not because of the joy that comes from the simple privilege of being able to contribute to the happiness of someone I love.

August 2 — Be Good for Others

I am good for the people around me to the extent that I embrace them without paying attention to whatever faults or shortcomings I might notice, except as a rare opportunity to offer helpful advice or to make an occasional loving rebuke.

August 1 — Care for Others and Show Them You Do

Show people that you care about them beginning with simply listening to them when they speak. Keep your mouth shut as much as possible.

July 31 — Stop Pointless Arguments

Let's be prepared to rebuke injustice or to correct error when doing so actually makes things better. However, when people simply say things that we don't agree with, let's try to resist jumping in to argue our own position. (That's difficult sometimes.)

July 30 — Be Genuine

Eliminate the frustration and hypocrisy that will result from any attempt to attain to a goodness that lies beyond your reach or pretending to live by a standard that you don't actually practice!

July 29 — Embrace Destiny

The task of shaping destiny remains unfinished until life ends. The egg is always hatching, and I'll kill the life inside if I ever stop the process. I am just getting started.

July 28 — Don't Worry About the Big Picture

Don't concern yourself with details about whatever Grand Scheme is planned for this world. Simply commit yourself to embracing whatever purpose the Universe has for you today.

July 26 — Take the Three Keys to Happiness

Confess your failures, accept forgiveness, put away any resentment or anger that you might have against anybody in the world, and embrace joy.

July 25 — Move Forward; Move Up

The processes of confession, repentance, and self-forgiveness empower me to deny tiresome and depressing patterns of personal failure and resentment permitting me to move forward and upward.

July 24 — Forgive Everyone, Everything, Always

In the absence of higher motivations such as love and kindness it would still be possible to engage in forgiveness as a fundamentally selfish act and to forgive people because of the need to free ourselves from the acids of resentment that will otherwise burn into our soul.

July 23 — Put Bad Stuff Behind Your Back

By continually putting behind us the mistakes and failures of the previous day, we are able continually to rediscover sources of forgiveness and grace that make it possible to move beyond the blunders and absurdities committed by others and especially those committed by ourselves.

July 22 — Move Towards Wisdom

Joni Mitchell's lyrical song, "Both Sides Now," captures stages of awareness from my history because my own attitudes have moved from illusion through disillusionment to a final state in which I understand that ultimate Truth is greater than I can comprehend or define — although I sense it is wonderful beyond belief.

July 21 — Harvest Wisdom

We harvest wisdom, insight, and peace as we confront even the most terrible events and circumstances with acceptance, reflection, and resignation.

July 20 — Let Grace Overflow Your Life

I can't imagine a more compelling "proof" for the power of grace than the fact that I go to bed every night grateful that I hadn't done a single thing that day that I didn't want to do or spent a minute with someone whom I wished would go away.

July 19 — Use Negative Energy to Grow

We grow as we embrace difficult circumstances with both arms. I discovered things about healthy attitudes through my bout with melanoma that I could never have found otherwise and learned lessons about the comfort of God through the death of people dear to me that I would never have learned in any other way.

July 18 — Be Moveable

The one unquestionable truth by which I order my life is the fact that the universe is under control of benevolent forces that continually move me towards the light, providing I am willing to be moved. Purpose and planning lie beneath everything as I simply permit Heaven to shape the content and direction of my life.

July 17 — Become Better Through Genuine Humility

Unshakable certainty about almost anything is possible only by pretending a particular dogma or belief to be absolutely true while shutting out contradictory realities. We might as well admit to walking through life with an intellectual limp, which is one of the most important and ultimately satisfying of all realizations about ourselves.

July 16 — Make Use of Conflict

We grow and thrive by processing experience and learning that challenges our belief system and perhaps even forcing us to confront and question the basic principles by which we have always lived.

July 15 — Be Thankful About This

Be grateful every day for the positive energies that keep flowing to you that can lift you above the vagaries of both chance and the limitations of your personality, thus giving you some measure of control over the direction in which your life is heading.

July 14 — Just Love

Life becomes more satisfying when we intend to engage wholeheartedly with the people around us and with Heaven above.

July 13 — Let Go With Love

The power of unreciprocated love is a spiritual truth that any wise person can discover by personal experience. We eventually come to realize that Buddha was right when he said, "In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you love? How deeply did you learn to let go?"

July 12 — Overcome Guilt

When guilt and doubt assail you, immediately open your heart to a fresh flow of forgiveness and reassurance that will pulverize any lingering effects of the darkness.

July 11 — Accept Everything

Giving in to any temptation to look with disdain or contempt upon another kills the possibility of true compassion and kindness. When religion or opinions serve to cut you off from others, just stop being so opinionated or religious.

July 10 — Don't Argue with Anyone

One of the reasons I maintain a simple attitude towards life and and attempt to avoid arguing is because I've never been able to change anybody's mind about anything. I'm in this world to be a servant to the people around me and not to try to straighten out their opinions regarding things they aren't asking my advice about. It's all good!

July 9 — Just Dance

I wish to dance through this world amazed by the miraculous things I see around me, beneath my feet, and above my head. I want to live my life in perfect harmony with the One who inhabits them all. And by His grace, I usually do!

July 8 — Humbly Admit Your Shortcomings

Some of us who go to church every week aren't particularly good people. We have true humility, except that we sometimes are filled with pride. We have perfect tolerance, except that we sometimes pronounce harsh judgments upon others. Freely admitting our imperfections is an act of humility that might protect us from the sin of hypocritically maintaining a facade of supposed holiness.

July 7 — Just Listen

Pity the people who keep their heads down and their ears closed to the music of the spheres that continually wells up around them. The harmonies are pianissimo but not muted. The melodies of love that flow through the Universe will wash pains and sorrows from every prepared heart.

July 6 — Find Your Tune

Create a little tune as part of a vast musical production that The Universe has been performing since our primitive ancestors looked towards the heavens with the first intimation of the truth that each life is part of a grand orchestra directed by a Celestial Composer composing a cosmic concert from musical threads supplied by each of us performers.

July 5 — Embrace Healthy Skepticism

Healthy skepticism will protect you from believing everything you hear or even think. Nevertheless, strong currents of true wisdom will pass the filter of healthiest skepticism every day as you are continually lifted by the intelligence and insights of others.

July 4 — Enjoy Another Freedom

When life is filled with activities of service for Heaven and for others and we are creatively engaging with the world, then we are free to rise above the worries and concerns that otherwise would pull us down. What better "freedom" than this?

July 3 — Get Up on Those Shoulders

We should seek wisdom and teachings from a wide variety of sources because we can see some distance ahead when elevated by the smallest amount of wisdom and will develop a breathtaking view of the possibilities of the world if, like Newton, we are able to stand on the shoulders of giants.

July 2 — Serious Business

"Joy is the serious business of heaven," as C.S. Lewis noted. Therefore, when we continually offer ourselves as an instrument of His peace, why should we be amazed when The Heavenly Father performs His "business" in our lives?

July 1 — Forgive and Move On

I no longer spend a moment worrying about whether people who hurt or insult me deserve to be forgiven. Any act of forgiving others becomes a gift I give myself because anger, bitterness, and resentment will diminish or even extinguish the qualities of joy, serenity, and cheerfulness that Heaven intended as my birthright.

June 30 — Find Joy Through Service

Service for others creates a quiet strength that dissipates dark forces of stress and dissatisfaction, which would prevent us from experiencing life at its most joyful and fulfilling levels.

June 29 — Use Troubles for Growth

Helen Keller used the circumstance of her life as a basis for challenging and changing her world. I am confronting the dysfunctional things in my own life and, like Keller with her blindness and deafness, channeling them into sources of spiritual power and service.

June 28 — Find the Genuine Good Life

The essence of The Good Life for me is founded upon serving others and letting Heaven work out the results.

June 27 — Channel God By Serving Others

Service for others connects you to something greater than yourself. People become channels through which God comes to you.

June 26 — Free Yourself!

Genuine freedom of the spirit comes from an attitude of simplicity towards the material world and some degree of minimalism towards one's possessions.

June 25 — Believe There's Purpose

When we can't discern any meaning and purpose in the complex matrix of existence that we are caught up in, it's enough simply to know that an Ultimate Purpose can exist without our knowing what it is.

June 24 — Don't Bother with Death

Someday we will die. The actual experience in that other dimension will be more wonderful than the best day of our earthly existence. In the meantime, let us live joyfully one day at a time, including that final day. Why not?

June 23 — Be Teachable

Be willing at any time to reassess your worldview and your understanding of truth. People who are humble are easier to live with.

June 22 — Love Anyway

Some people will not understand, trust, or accept our love. After all, Jesus was crucified by people He Loved absolutely. We don't focus on results.

June 21 — Keep Connected to Heaven

I keep the telephone of my mind open to messages of peace, harmony, health, love, and abundance. Then, whenever Doubt, Anxiety, and Fear attempt to call me, they keep getting a busy signal and eventually add my number to their cosmic DO NOT CALL list.

June 20 — Embrace Life

I no longer struggle with life but continually embrace it — and am constantly dazzled by the way in which life keeps hugging back.

June 19 — Live Above the Mess

Unpleasant experiences and even tragedies may shake me up but they no longer can pull me down. I've learned to be content whatever my circumstances. Really content!

June 18 — Don't Be Defensive

As part of my own coming to humility, I am trying never to be defensive about anything.

June 17 — Focus on Spirit

True Joy is an inside-out project, not determined by outward circumstances and often disconnected from them.

June 16 — Don't Criticize

Sharp criticism will never be effective in helping anyone become better or to do better because critical comments by others never helped us to improve.

June 15 — Know What You Don't Know

Bertrand Russell wrote: "A big problem in this world is that the idiots are convinced that they know everything and the intelligent people are full of doubts." He's probably right because I have never met a fool who entertained the slightest uncertainty about his/her opinions. More than once I've entertained such foolish certainties myself.

June 14 — Pay Attention to the Silence

I only experience the full impact of the Divine Presence when I listen to the silence that fills the heavenly spaces and to what isn't being said but that I, nevertheless, come to realize and understand.

June 13 — Wise Up

At times, we will grow anxious, depressed, or angry. However, there need be nothing dismaying about such a break if we simply regard the lapse itself as one of the events in life to learn from and then use the lesson to encourage wiser behaviors in the future.

June 12 — Let It Go

When someone has gone astray, if I am not able to intervene with a gentle and helpful rebuke then I try to remove the knowledge of the person's mis-behavior from my mind. The Bible says that God has put my sin behind His back, so that's where I intend to put it for others.

June 11 — Practice Wisdom

Only by practical application can knowledge be driven into our hearts and then converted into wisdom that will finally make us good for ourselves, for others, and for Heaven's sake.

June 10 — Simply Love

Life becomes sweeter when we truly love the people around us! We can simply decide to never get uselessly upset. And not tell people off. And move ourselves out of inappropriate competitions. That kind of righteousness is simple. Aggression, competition, road rage, and trying to get the best of the people around us complicates relationships. Or destroys them.

June 9 — Don't Push Away Joy With Negative Feelings

Whenever angry, disappointed, or petulant, you are permit negative energies to push away the joy, peace, and happiness that could otherwise have been filling your heart and mind.

June 8 — Just Forgive And Let it Go

Successful engagement with life is powered by the core energies that acts of forgiveness can supply, both as we receive pardon for the things we have done and, in turn, as we pardon ourselves and others. Everybody!

June 7 — Stay on the Path

Become a pilgrim in the company of a Faithful Companion who knows the way ahead, leads you by the hand, and fills you with love for fellow-travelers who share the road with you.

June 6 — Follow The Essential Truth

Let's admit that our grasp on Truth is limited and we don't know very much. However, let's seek crystal clear truth about the attitudes and tasks required of us right now because that's enough truth!

June 5 — Don't Be So Sure

The older we get the less confidence we will have about our ability to reason things through to unquestionable assurance that we are absolutely right about anything.

June 4 — Care for Others

Every day I pray that I will be a blessing to each person I meet that day. The practice has transformed the quality of my life.

June 3 — Reach Your Personal Best

Every day get out of bed with your mind filled with things you are going to do that day to be good for yourself, for others, and for Heaven's sake. Aristotle observed that excellence is not an act but a habit. Loving service can be, as well.

June 2 — Serve And Love Today

Life affords numerous clearly understood opportunities to serve Heaven and to love others! It makes sense to rise to meet those opportunities and doing so is enough to fill any life with meaning.

June 1 — Don't Say Everything You Think

Let's not challenge any value, theory, or belief when we are unable to understand the reasoning and perspective of the people who adhere to it. The only wise response in that case is to simply admit our ignorance and never again make the mistake of rejecting any opinion simply because it is contrary to views to which we already hold.

May 31 — Practice Pure Love

Anticipate that your love for your spouse and others close to you will become more healthy each year. Offer to them the kind of love they deserve. It's simply the right way to live — and the way of joy.

May 30 — Admit Your Limitations

I don't know much, but at least I now know that I can't prove much of anything to be absolutely true, which is a powerful reason to avoid arguments.

May 29 — Love with an Indomitable Love

Love that springs from grace has an indomitable quality because people cannot escape our love. They are able to withdraw so that our love no longer affects them, but they are unable to do anything to lesson our regard for them or cause our commitment to them to cease or even to diminish.

May 28 — Love Yourself Healthy

People fall into illness when they feel that the sources of their love have been withdrawn: lovers have left them, parents have abused them, friends have betrayed them.... They feel that they are no longer being loved, but their real problem is that they have stopped loving. They can do something about that if only they will. I know, because I have done something about it.

May 27 — Speak from Sincere Motives

When they realize the sincerity of my love for them, some people will listen thoughtfully to my most important conviction, which is the willingness and ability of The Master to bring good things out of bad — the most encouraging thing I know.

May 26 — Just Love

I’m at the point at which I can actually love people with my whole heart without the slightest urge to harshly judge or criticize them. I stumble, sometimes, especially when tempted to judge and criticize others for being judgmental and critical. But even partial victories open doorways to joy!

May 25 — Think Deeper

They say that you can't believe everything you see, but I made a great leap forward when I finally learned that neither can I believe everything I think. I am continually fighting the temptation to believe something simply because it makes sense to me.

May 24 — Realize That You Don't Know Much

Awareness of how much I don't understand turned out to be the most important lesson learned from my 12 years in higher education. The resulting humility provides an ultimately liberating basis for remaining continually dazzled by the awe and wonder of it all.

May 23 — Forgive Without Boundaries

Forgiveness is a spiritual principle rather than a religious doctrine — as important for atheists as it is for preachers.

May 22 — Just Serve

A passion for serving others adds a special quality to any action. With the good of others in view, perform any task with excellence.

May 21 — Embrace Modern Living

The world today is full of wonders that previous generations couldn't have imagined. And we haven't seen anything yet. My wish is to be continually amazed by all these discoveries and innovations. And I am!

May 20 — Embrace Indomitable Joy

Cheerful resignation to every circumstance of life is a logical response to my confidence that my life and times are held in Hands that will never let me drop unless something wonderful could be gained from my fall. Even in that case, no other response makes sense except simply, "Thy will be done."

May 19 — Control Your Temper

I can’t recall a single time during the decades of my life when I lost my temper at someone, spoke to them in a hurtful fashion, and felt afterwards that I had accomplished anything good by my actions. So I never do that anymore. Never!

May 18 — Be Flexible

Flexibility is a necessity not an option if we intend to thrive amidst the changes taking place all around us. No longer expect permanence in anything. Embrace change.

May 17 — Plant Relationships

Joy and happiness are fruit that grow in the spiritual soil of happy relationships beginning with the members of our nuclear family and extending to the people encountered in every part of life.

May 16 — Choose Happiness

You are the only person who can make you happy. Because happiness is a choice. Since you’re as happy as you choose to be, you might as well choose to be really happy.

May 15 — Continue Seeking the Source of All Peace

A divine place at the center of my being is a refuge to which I can flee and remain undisturbed no matter how fiercely the storms of life may blow — a sanctuary in which I can shelter during conflicts and troubles.

May 14 — Seek a Source of Peace

I possess a peace that "transcends all understanding." — not because it involves some complicated insight but because it surpasses expectations and rational explanations.

May 13 — Work at Being Pleasant

It does no good for family members or associates to see me out-of-sorts and to listen to my bad-tempered remarks. My goal is to reduce these to zero. Why wouldn't I try to do so? (It's tough sometimes but the war is worth the struggle!)

May 12 — Keep Your Cool

A commitment to be a positive influence for everyone we meet, eliminates the possibility of ever engaging in harsh criticism, scorn, or any show of anger.

May 11 — Live Above Circumstance

My beliefs, attitudes, and actions combine to exert far greater influence upon the direction in which my life goes than any circumstance, coincidence, or "luck," whether good or bad.

May 10 — Set Your Sails

I am not the captain of my soul. But God is sending favorable winds that are blowing my little ship towards an amazing Final Destination.

May 9 — Embrace Everything

Great blessings often result from terrible misfortunes! Embrace everything as coming from the hand of a benevolent Heavenly Power. Why not?

May 8 — Give Freely

Selfish people fail to realize the principle that givers are more blessed through acts of giving than recipients are through acts of receiving. A greedy person is a sad individual. And a sorry one.

May 7 — Maintain a Grateful Heart

Empower the blessings in your life by deliberately and continually acknowledging their Heavenly Source. Life moves upwards fueled by the energies generated by a grateful heart.

May 6 — Don't Even Ask

I think Heaven never responds to the question, "Why me?" about any circumstance because the real answer, bound up in the rejoinder question, "Why not me?" is too obvious for God to bother with. Anne Frank died in a concentration camp. Job lost his family, home, and health. Jesus died on the cross. How stupid and arrogant would it be to think that I'm entitled to any kind of Get Out Of Jail Free card?

May 5 — Never Be Defensive

When people become angry and shout at you, their anger certainly represents fear or insecurity rather than actual malice. A positive attitude will usually be rewarded by eventual (and sometimes dramatic) restoration of friendly or at least cordial relationships.

May 4 — Unleash Expectation's Power

Imagine that the people surrounding you are extraordinary human beings; anticipate that each of them will be excellent. Unleash the power of positive expectations on everyone. (Why not?)

May 3 — A Safe Place

I am grateful for a heavenly shelter that affords me protection from whatever spiritual and emotional turmoil might threaten my wellbeing — a refuge to which I fly when the storms of life threaten to throw me down. The refuge is always there; I am always safe.

May 2 — Reach For The Best Out Of Everybody

We most effectively reach our potential for goodness and self-worth by simply treating each other as valuable human beings; we get the best out of people by going to what is best in them.

May 1 — Make Others Shine

One of the greatest rewards can be the pleasure of watching others smile and shine in response to our own engagement with life, and with Heaven, and with them.

April 30 — Just Laugh

Appropriate humor is a lubricant to grease the wheels of human relationships, to repair hurt feelings, and to help cope with grief.

April 29 — Ignore Labels

No matter how annoyingly opinionated a particular individual may be, every person I meet — whether liberal or conservative, homophobe or homosexual, bigot or embracing, atheist or religious — is infinitely more precious than whatever label he/she may bear. No principle is more powerful than this in transforming relationships.

April 28 — Don't Worry

An important part of my enjoyment of life is a determination never to respond to worries or fears. No amount of wealth could make me happier; no circumstance could extinguish my joy.

April 27 — Be Anxious About Nothing

No matter how bad any situation is I can either do something about it or I can't do anything about it. In either case, worrying is useless. I've finished with worry; I'm done with it forever.

April 26 — Find Reasons to Love

Genuine love means coming to appreciate people because of who they are and not in spite of who they are. The most obvious course of action for me is to treat people excellently, which will perhaps encourage them to treat others, including myself, in the same way.

April 25 — Be Excellent Towards Everyone

Everyone has amazing strengths and dismaying weaknesses. If my attitude is one of moral excellence, when I learn about the failures and successes of others, my love for them will expand to embrace both their shortfalls and victories.

April 24 — Love What Is

The greater our knowledge of other people, the more about them we find to love. That is true as long as our love has an unconditional quality that guarantees our never turning away no matter what unsightly behaviors or character traits our expanding knowledge might uncover about a person. After all, the more issues they have, the more they need our love. It isn't about us. It's never about us!

April 23 — Be Safe For Others

It's only natural to love in the same way that we feel ourselves to be loved. If Heaven accepts us as we are then I would be both hypocritical and disingenuous to reject a single person. Let's lose the ability to be critical about anybody.

April 22 — Be Safe For Others

I now share at least one characteristic with people like Mother Theresa and Jesus Christ: We are safe. You can tell us anything. We might cry with you but will never shame you nor treat you with scorn or contempt. (That probably about covers my shared characteristics with Mother Theresa and Jesus Christ.)

April 21 — Embrace the Dysfunctions

My attitude is just the opposite of a quote I once read: "I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am." Against that stands the magnificent observation by the writer, Anne Lamott: "Jesus' heart was not hardened against crazy people, or we would all be doomed. He was not embarrassed by craziness. He just said, 'Yeah, well, me too,' then He took care of you anyway."

April 20 — Go With Okay

I don't know why I can't take more control over my passions. Sometimes I think I am a little crazy. However, most of us feel that way at some level, if we will just admit it. Nevertheless, I am finally at the most healthy of all ego states, characterized by I AM NOT OKAY; YOU'RE NOT OKAY; BUT THAT'S OKAY.

April 19 — Make Intention Your Standard

A sense of liberation comes about through disassociating my sense of self-worth from standards of behavior. I am a flawed person but have come to accept my wrinkles and warts — both physical and spiritual — because Heaven accepts me that way. This is the key to accepting everyone else as worthy and even lovable. It is also the key to actual self-improvement.

April 18 — Be Excellent to Others

The iconic line from the movie Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, "Be excellent to one another," is a powerful ethical principle. Many of us religious people, including some preachers, would be better human beings if we merely lived our lives according to Bill and Ted's simple advice.

April 17 — Forgive Everyone Beginning With Yourself

"Forgiven people forgive people," they say. I've been forgiven for enough things myself over the years (and last week) that forgiving others now requires no effort at all.

April 16 — Experience Forgiveness in Both Directions

I can't control whether or not people will forgive me but am in absolute control over whether or not I forgive them. When Heaven's forgiveness is all I can have, then that's all the forgiveness I need. On the other hand, I freely forgive others even if they don't ask for it because I need to free myself from any trace of anger or resentment.

April 15 — Focus On Now

Focusing on the present relieves us of the limitations that fear would otherwise impose upon our actions and choices. Joyful engagement with life at the present moment is the best preparation for life. Timidity is no virtue.

April 14 — Embrace Everyone

Seek no longer to react out of your own bias to anyone with contrary views, or respond from any personal opinions towards any gay person. Do not permit your religious convictions to stand between yourself and any devout Christian, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jew, Muslim, or atheist. Impose the Golden Rule of God's love on your relationships rather than bashing others with the hammer of your personal opinions and convictions.

April 13 — Show Respect to Everyone

Regard no one with disdain. Any differences of opinion, conviction, or belief that I might have with others will should not influence my respect and even affection for them in the slightest way. (The Golden Rule thing again, because hat's how I want to be treated by others.)

April 12 — Practice Being Yourself

As a matter of principle, refuse to be greatly moved by others' opinions of you and maintain Kipling's ideal that "all men count" with you, "but none too much." This kind of independence is difficult to maintain, but the sense of liberation is worth any amount of struggle! It is an essential quality for healthy relationships.

April 11 — Maintain an Agreeable Spirit

I cannot experience genuine peace until I am able to permit people around me to be wrong without being bent out of shape by what I perceive as their error. This is not always easy and I sometimes find it impossible. (It's a battle, but one that I need to win.)

April 10 — End the Day Right

Every night when you close your eyes, pause to rejoice for whatever challenges, people, and events brought positive energies into your life. Allow negative feelings (and people) to slide by without giving them a moment's notice.

April 9 — Open Your Mouth

In the Old Testament, God promised His people, "Open your mouth wide and I will fill it." I do that on a regular basis, these days, and in return God fills my life with good things.
     I'm doing it right now! He's doing it right now!

April 8 — Light Up Your World

No purpose for living can bring us into healthy relationships with others without brightening our own world. Only by being good for others can I, in any way, become good for myself or good for Heaven's sake.

April 7 — Deny Your Fears

A person who is genuinely strong in his spirit can use that strength to "turn the other cheek." In that case, doing so is a noble gesture. A godly act even! But people who are fearful and timid shouldn't follow that instruction. At least in some contexts they should face up to their fears and pop the schoolyard bully right in the nose. There are worse things than getting beat up. I know.

April 6 — Have the Courage to Be Wrong

Focusing on the present and eliminating fears or even avoiding undue expectations about the future frees us to make mistakes. "While one person hesitates because he feels inferior," someone said, "the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior." If that's true, then I'm making enough mistakes these days to eventually ensure some kind of amazing superiority. (I hope my wife finds out soon.)

April 5 — Forgive Everything

More important than finding forgiveness is to forgive others. Forgive everybody and forgive everything because resentment inevitably kills joy; bitterness always trumps happiness. I will no longer permit that to happen.

April 4 — Stop Begging; Simply Receive

A friend suggested that perhaps the only prayer I need offer for myself is one of repentance because when restored, we're at the center of God's will and in a position to receive the gifts needed in order to become happy and productive without begging for them.

April 3 — Push Away Hurt and Harm

Continually putting behind us such dark things as hurt feelings, broken relationships, and lost opportunities is essential to the ongoing sense of renewal that we should demand from life.

April 2 — Just Dance

The rhythms of life — the daily, seasonal, yearly, and decade-long cadences — provide a continual source of fuel for the energies of joy. Life can become a rock concert; you can get up on your feet and begin dancing!

April 1 — Prepare for Death

Our entire life is a cycle, like a single day. The nighttime of death is surely coming, so the best plan to check out, "Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams," as Bryant advised. Until then, put your whole self into living each day. Today, for sure!

March 31 — Loving Rae

I have learned to fall in love with my wife repeatedly. My love for this wonderful person is constant and unvarying. She is what I want. She is what I need.
Happy birthday, Dear Rae!

March 30 — Just Dance

Only by being good for others and for Heaven's sake can we really be good for ourselves and dance down joyful paths.

March 29 — Die Right

Live in such a way that when you die good people might mourn by your casket and imagine the world is a better place because you were there.

March 28 — Allow Only Good

The best way to succeed is to discover what you love and use it to serve others while allowing the energies of Heaven to lead you. That's the energy I'm allowing! It's all good; I don't allow bad!

March 27 — Listen to Everyone

Even those who bore us are sending messages beneath their chatter to which we should listen. They deserve our paying attention to the things they might not be saying.

March 26 —Embrace Purpose

Embracing your purpose for living brings us to a happy place indeed where we doing something good for ourselves, good for others, and good for Heaven's sake.

March 25 — Walk On

You wouldn't have the insights or wisdom that you possess if your life had followed a different route at any point. Each road taken was more important than any destination; the journey was never leading towards life but was life itself. Discouragement and disappointment are always nonsense, so you might as well be happy.

March 24 — Make Things Better

Find your gifts for making things better and making the people around you happier, and then use those gifts with all your heart and strength.

March 23 — Be Quick with Hugs

Hugging is healthy, but only people with a spirit of genuine simplicity and affection toward others can give a really great hug. Figure it out.

March 22 — Be Trustworthy

In his book The Speed of Trust Stephen Covey maintained that a person could only be trusted if the one doing the trusting was confident that the person was both honest and capable. We probably all agree with Martin Luther when he said that he would "rather be ruled by a wise Turk than to be ruled over by a foolish Christian." We could add, "or by a dishonest one."

March 21 — Shut Up

Learn to just shut up as soon as you realize that your speech isn't being helpful to anyone.

March 20 — Be Grateful

Be grateful for the cosmic Web of Heavenly energies and tremendous network of people that can raise you to a state of joy and happy anticipation.

March 19 — Listen Up

One of the most effective ways of involving myself completely in the lives of other people is by listening carefully to them whenever they are speaking to me. I can do that. I will do that!

March 18 — Enjoy the Gift

Each day is a gift; Never permit pains, hurdles, and handicaps — or any circumstance — to mar the gift by poisoning your attitudes and intentions.

March 17 — Don't Complain

The poet Maya Angelou's history of sexual childhood abuse, guilt, and five years as a mute read like something out of a Stephen King novel. Nevertheless, she was able to write, "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." I'm trying to do that every day. Every moment.

March 16 — Do Good

I have the seeds of fear, anger and arrogance within me, but I have learned not to water those seeds and instead to nourish constructive qualities such as compassion, understanding, and kindness. Positive relationships with the people around me result from choices I make every day.

March 15 — Fill 'er Up

I am grateful for the power every day to open a heavenly faucet and fill myself full of grace. I understand the words of James Weldon Johnson's old prayer about coming "like empty pitchers to a full fountain." That's the way I come! That's the kind of fountain I keep coming to!

March 14 — Enjoy Yourself

Joy-filled exuberance is the condition I come to by receiving the power that follows frank confrontation with the issues of the past and then simply letting go — dropping the dreadful load at the Master's feet.

March 13 — Don't Gossip

I am determined to remove feelings of superiority and cruelty that make it possible to enjoy gossiping about others. Gossip diminishes the person I am talking about. I don't like people doing that to me so why would I ever wish to do that to anybody?

March 12 — Be Diligent

My greatest challenge is to become sufficiently committed to achieving my goals that my passion for doing so drives me past the temptation to waste time on things that do not move me forward. But it's a constant battle!

March 11 — Let Go

Joyful exuberance is my natural condition whenever I cease dwelling upon past negative experiences. Deliverance comes from merely receiving the grace that follows frank confrontation with a problem and then simply letting it go.

March 10 — Stay Cool

Serenity comes from eliminating any need to demonstrate to other people that we am right about anything. We will be truly joyful when we learn with great good cheer to let other people be wrong — even dead wrong!

March 9 — Receive Help

Moral integrity requires more than mere determination. Thankfully, there is more. My soul feels nourished each day by heavenly food and my feet again planted in a blessed place! I'm not done yet; I'm improving.

March 8 — Disagree Agreeably

Some Christians argue as though the existence of God depends upon their being able successfully to defend His existence. Some atheists, on the other hand, argue as though God will suddenly appear unless they are able to successfully defend His non-existence. I could argue against both of these positions but while doing so I would ensure that the Christian or atheist remained confident of my love. Or else I would change the subject.

March 7 — Become Better

The demands of moral and ethical living require that every day you strive with consistency to be the best person you can be that day. By living on this elevated level over a sufficient number of days, you will lay the basis for a successful life and exhibit the characteristics for which Heaven gives smiling approval.

March 6 — Be Genuine

As far as possible, bless others by humbly acknowledging the limits of your understanding and never pretending to knowledge and wisdom you don't actually possess.

March 5 — Be Good; Do Good

Even more than being able to do good, I need to be good for the people around me. I must become the worker that my partner needs, the father that my children need, the husband that my wife needs, and the man that I myself need me to be.

March 4 — Make a Difference

The reciprocating movements between loving yourself and loving others is the basis for a good life. Whenever opportunity comes knocking, open the door and welcome with open arms whatever prospect is waiting — glad to give yourself and others the gift of living well.

March 3 — Love Yourself; Love Everyone

If I actually love others as I love myself, as the Bible instructs, then I will treat you the same way that I tend to treat myself. I will view your actions in the most favorable possible light and leap to your defense every time I am given the opportunity to do so. I might not always like you, however, just as I do not always like myself.

March 2 — Elevate People

Life offers its best gifts to me when I am prepared to meet it armed with right attitudes and appropriate behaviors. I will regard the people around me as being fundamentally good and try to view any problem as a challenge that might lead to some positive outcome or will at least teach me patience.

March 1 — Show Love to the Unlovely

My goal is to put my whole self into the processes of living and to be gracious towards people who commit unlovely or even harmful acts. I freely admit that I am myself one of the difficult people I have to get along with. Don Huntington has caused me more problems than all the other people in the world combined.

Dr. Don's Daily Snippets Of Wisdom
Created by Don Huntington (
don.huntington@gmail.com)
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