The Tool of Thought

"At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. ... We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices."

·   Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

A Million Dollar Gift

The Holiday Season and stores are decorated with joyous colors and accents. The cash registers are ringing in tune with the jingling of jingle bells and everyone has a list "a mile long" of what to buy and for whom.

There are many individuals that are probably not on your current list of "gift getters." They are, however, just as important and just as deserving of a token or two of appreciation. Yet, they are overlooked and many times not even physically seen. We are busy, rushing to and fro and there are distractions from our intended errands and places to stop.

Wait a minute, you may say. I've already made out a budget and not even one shiny penny can be added. I've overstretched myself already and . . . Wait a minute, just one minute, and that's exactly what you need. A smile takes less than a minute, a warm "hello" and "thank you" is precious and lingers in the air like a warm fuzzy blanket. While money can purchase some of the finest, most elaborate gift selections, your taking the time, yes, just a minute, to acknowledge, stop, or even just smile at bank tellers, clerks, passers-by, older individuals, small children, harried moms, and worried dads. The price - priceless!

Its the accumulated total of all those "little" touches during the Holiday Season that make the tree lights brighter, and the snow whiter; the carols are more joyous, and the weather - well, even the cold has a strange "warmth" to it.

You leave your house with a to-do list in your wallet or purse. You come home and your to-do list is almost done and your wallet or purse is a bit lighter, unless you count those credit-card receipts that are weighing it down a bit.

But, somehow, the Christmas spirit has crept silently, very quietly, into your heart. You have a spring in your step, and a melody going through your mind. The coffee at the coffee shop tasted just a bit mellower and the waitress was really quite nice. The clerk was rushed but seemed to take that extra minute to help you out and when you thanked her, her face just lit up. The older lady sitting down on the mall bench seemed tired, but responded with a smile that could melt your heart as you passed by and said "Merry Christmas."

The receipt for all these little extras in your day - a million dollars and all deposited right into your heart. The kids are just not making as much noise today, and making dinner is a breeze. You welcome the night and sleep like a baby and you actually look forward to tomorrow. You take a reality check - did everything really go smoothly yesterday or was there a bit of Christmas magic dusted on your jacket as you passed that sidewalk Santa Claus.

Something to think about, isn't it? Wishing you and all your loved ones a truly Memorable, Enchanting, and totally wonderful Holiday Season

© Arleen Kaptur

About the Author


The above article was joyously contributed by Arleen M. Kaptur, author of the novel Searching for Austin James and a number of ebooks, creator of several interesting stops on the internet, including Arleen's Site, Arleen's Rustic Living, and The Rustic Living Newsletter.

Do not say that your surroundings are against you. A man's surroundings are never against him; they are there to aid him, and all those outward occurrences over which you lose sweetness and peace of mind are the very conditions necessary to your development, and it is only by meeting and overcoming them that you can learn, and grow, and ripen. The fault is in yourself.

·   James Allen, Above Life's Turmoil

Very shortly hundreds of millions of people across the world will make their New Year's Resolutions. Given that the majority of the adult population is now classified as overweight, one might reason that the number one resolution for tens of millions will be to lose weight in the coming year.

However, the sad fact is very few will achieve long-term success, even though obesity has become a major health threat as it has reached epidemic proportions (according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control). Even sadder is that virtually 100% of the people who fail won't know the REAL reason for their failure. Many will blame the diet they chose, the circumstances in their life, their "lack of willpower," and on and on. But the REAL reason --- the ONLY reason --- they won't succeed is because they didn't change their thoughts. Their thoughts about themselves and the food they eat.

In "Your Winner's Image," Bob Proctor quotes his mentor Leland Val Vandewall when he writes, "Thinking creates an image. Images control feelings. Feelings cause actions. Actions create results."

I have fought the battle of weight control my entire life. In the last few years I've been mostly winning the battle. During the times when I was losing, it's because of what I thought about myself and what I thought about food. It was easy to fall into the thoughts of the fat, little boy who used to be teased by his playmates. It was even easier to think of food (albeit subconsciously) as an "anesthetic" for the bad feelings created by all my wrong thinking. What a vicious circle.

As each year passes I am even more firmly convinced that you will NEVER achieve sustainable success that exceeds the image you have of yourself. Until you "see" yourself as a healthy, physically-fit person you've got about as much chance of losing weight (and keeping it off!) as you do of making it through this month without receiving any spam.

And this isn't just about weight control. It applies to changing any habit. Ten years ago next week I quit a three- pack-a-day cigarette habit. I've never wanted another cigarette - never even come close to considering it - even though I had tried to quit many times before.

What was the difference? What I thought about myself. Until I quit for good I always saw myself as a smoker and, of course, I thought like a smoker. Thanks to a great Filipino doctor who got my thinking pointed in the right direction, a prescription for "patches," and lots of prayer and affirmations, I live a smoke-free life today.

One of Bob's favorite quotes of James Allen says it all:

"Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes,
The tool of Thought, and shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills;
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass;
Environment is but his looking-glass."

And that's worth thinking about.

© 2002, Vic Johnson,

About the Author - (In his own words)
Vic Johnson, this week's guest author 

Between 1994-1997 I experienced more “character building” days than any other time of my life. Two books saved my life and both books came into my possession in an off-handed way. At a garage sale my former wife purchased a copy of Make Your Life Worthwhile, by the late Emmet Fox, because “it looked like a book you’d be interested in.” Several years earlier I had purchased a big bundle of books at a discount book sale and buried in the bundle, to be fully discovered later, was James Allen’s As A Man Thinketh.

As A Man Thinketh is partly responsible for the creation of the entire personal development industry. Most contemporary PD authors and teachers credit this little book for providing foundation to their principles.  It is a set of philosophical musings on the power of our thoughts. Earl Nightingale, widely regarded as the father of modern day personal development, in his best-selling recording,  called the ideas in this book, "The Strangest Secret". The secret, he said, is "we become what we think about".

Click here to download your free eBook - As A Man Thinketh

Peace and Light, Michael

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