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Part 11 Thoughts of the Day & Ideas for the Weary Optimist...by Brian Norris

Preface - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12

Part 11 of a collection of thoughts and ideas, written by Brian Norris. These reflect on a variety of topics including, kindness, passion, life, our connection to God and his creations, relationships, being happy, taking action, the value of touch, love, and dealing with negative events and people.

Many of them will be included in Brian's next book. If you would like to reserve a copy, email Brian and he will add you to the waiting list.

APRIL

Today's Thought: Breathe deeply. In through the nose filling your lungs completely. Hold for a few seconds. Now exhale through your mouth. Let it all out. Nice & slow. Breathe deeply and deliberately all day, every day. You'll feel better. I promise.

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Today's Thought: There is a profound difference between a truly beautiful woman and a woman who knows how to put on makeup beautifully. Don't let the latter confuse you.

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Today's Thought: Giving yourself permission to be wrong is one of the most liberating things you can ever do.

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Today's Thought: As my hands work patiently to ease their pain, the client's muscles confess. Each knot often reveals a lifetime of suppressed words that should have been spoken. My advice? Say what needs to be said when it needs to be said. Then, regardless of the outcome, let it go.

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Today's Thought: When the opportunity for joy presents itself, embrace it.

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Today's Thought: What do you do when you've tasted every flavor and every topping and combination of flavors and toppings that can legally have? Start from the beginning again. This time do it blindfolded or with one hand tied behind your back.

Better yet, find someone who could use an experienced guide and join them on their journey. Life, through the emotion eyes and words of others, is magical too.

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Today's Thought: If you ever want to quickly gauge how comfortable (& secure) a person is with their own identity, ask them whether they are A) comfortable being touched B) by someone of the same gender, then C) someone of the opposite gender. A secure person knows that it's not WHO touches you; it’s HOW & WHY they touch you.

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Today's Thought: Some people (actually lots of people) spend a good chunk of their lives looking for ways to "get motivated” as if motivation is the magic bullet that instantly turns a life of drudgery into a life of bliss.

The truth is that motivation is only good for people willing or ready to change. You can spend lots of time and money purchasing inspirational books, attending motivational workshops, reading biographies and autobiographies about people who seem successful or seem to have risen to the top despite impossible odds.

Like a warm bath or shower, these people and their stories might temporarily inspire you to reevaluate who you are, hone in on your “purpose” and encourage you to focus on the things you might be passionate about.

With a few exceptions, nothing anyone says or does can suddenly transform you or the people you care about into a successful, happy, wealthy, loving, positive, energized, focused, concerned, giving, wealthy, healthy, altruistic person.

Because at the end of the day it’s just you again.

Motivation won’t keep you from being selfish, overly impulsive, undisciplined, overly cynical, constantly seeking revenge, generally hateful or habitually fat and out of shape. The long-term reality is this; you are either A) lazy or B) not lazy. And if you are perpetually lazy or prone to making excuses why things won’t work or can’t be done, then you are destined to staying where you are or ending up with even less than you have now.

The motivation books or DVDs collect dust (mostly unread or unwatched). The anecdotes and life lessons shared via author or speaker are forgotten. The burst of new-found energy you may have felt trickles out of you like day-old coffee.

After listening to a rousing motivational speech, you might feel good. But that feeling is often temporary. When you go back to work or back to your home and the euphoria wears off, you realize that nothing has changed. Worse still, you realize that you still lack the tools to do your job or to run your life more effectively.

Although extreme pain and extreme pleasure make delicious motivators, you can only be pressured or blackmailed to change. That’s not motivation. That’s intimidating through fear.

People will go to great lengths to avoid having their secrets, sins and mortal pleasures unearthed. In addition to the prospect of “getting caught”, people can be coerced into making personal sacrifices to keep their loved ones from being hurt.

Sure, I can threaten you. But, even threats wear thin eventually, since most threats made by loved ones (I’ll leave you, I’ll kill you, I’ll embarrass you, I’ll tell on you) are empty or come with an expiration date.

The weary optimist no longer looks for external motivation or devotes too much time to "wishfully thinking." Instead, we keep a bucket of cold reality to wake ourselves from the occasional stupor or the hypnotic effect of a well-delivered sales pitch.

If you read or watch or hear something that excites you, follow up immediately. Use the short-lived excitement and morale boost to your benefit. Learn what you’ll need (in the way of time, money, training, connections and resources) so that you can act quickly.

If after you’ve done the research and concluded that it’s worth doing then get off your butt and follow through! Commit to whatever or whoever and pursue it wholeheartedly.

Don’t waddle in indecisiveness. Simply put, if you invest time "actively doing" rather than “actively planning” or “actively waiting” you'll be alright.

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Today's Thought: Love your neighbor. This means let the people around you – be they friend or foe – do their thing without judging them, trying to change them or make them more like you. If they refuse to love you back, step back, move forward and just keep focusing on being the best person you can be.

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Today's Thought: Approach life with the same effort you put into a tearing open a sweet tangerine. Like most things, getting what you want or need may seem hard on the surface. Just dig in and keep peeling away the outer layer. A little determination soon reveals decadent fruits for the body, the heart and the spirit. Then, bite in and enjoy!

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Today's Thought: Guilt has no place in our universe (let alone our lives). Guilt is a bad tool for making decisions. Guilt is also a lousy reason to remain in a role or environment you have clearly outgrown. Instead of guilt, be honest with yourself. Accept that people & priorities change. Then forgive yourself (& others) and keep moving forward.

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Today's Thought: Happiness is the heart and head singing together in unison.

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Today's Thought: In the space between birth & whatever comes afterward, it makes sense to practice being human while we still can. So, for now, let me feel so alive that it hurts.

Give me both pain & passion to remind me of the frailty yet awesomeness of my species. Let me practice swimming in chaos & ambiguity. Let me find comfort in the certainty of lust, love & short-lived loathing. I'll practice being dead once I'm gone.

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Today's Thought: The surest way to figure out someone's darkest secrets is to observe what they condemn the most. Those who shout the loudest and most frequently often have the most to hide. Hatred is usually a feeble attempt to cloak ones own insecurities.

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Today's Thought: Life is like a good dipping sauce. The right "sauce" can make even the most familiar things new again. Be bold. Be adventurous. And dip often! :)

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Today's Thought: Sometimes, a little suspension of reality goes a long ways; good for the mind, great for the body and bliss for the soul. Just remember to leave a trail of bread crumbs so that you can find your way back to the land of gravity when duty calls.

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Today's Thought: Never underestimate the impact that a kind word, a sincere thank you, a positive touch or a non-judgmental ear (to listen) can have on a person. Transformation and healing may be just a hug, handshake or high-five away.

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Today's thought: The faster things change the more we need the certainty of a few close relationships. These relationships – be they friends, lovers or merely individuals drawn together by a common dysfunction – keep us grounded & above all... sane.

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Today's Thought: When it comes to matters of the heart, expecting others to simply "move on" is unfair. Years of memories form an energetic umbilical cord that only time can disconnect. What we can do is encourage ourselves & others to "move forward" by placing those memories – be they happy or painful – in a safe place to work through & revisit in your own way.

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Today's thought: Statistics revolve around average people & average events. If you want to beat the statistics & prove the naysayers wrong, simply be willing to be consistently better than average all of the time in everything that you do. Refuse to live life according to other people's numbers!

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Today's Thought: Some of our oddest, hardest, saddest, most challenging moments you go through will one day make for a great story; So create an ending worth telling.

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Today's Thought: If you had to talk face to face instead of resorting to text or a status update, could you still hold a conversation? Is technology bringing us closer together or stripping us of our desire and ability to form in-person/face-to-face relationships?

Watching movies like Avatar, Gamers & Surrogates makes me wonder about the lure of escapism & living in a world when virtual connections are the norm. What happens when we decide that getting up and getting out isn't worth the effort?

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Today's Thought: Warmth follows the happy person.

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Today's Thought: When something scares you, step back & ask yourself "What specifically makes me want to avoid this?"

If your blocks include the fear of failure, or looking like a fool or being overwhelmed remind yourself that someone, somewhere, ALREADY thinks you're a foolish, easily overwhelmed failure no matter what you do. So, look past your fears & do what you need to do anyway!

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Today's Thought: Watching the rain melt the snow to expose the ground below reveals a powerful lesson from the universe: With enough time and enough tears even the most hardened of hearts can thaw and learn to love again.

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Today's Thought: One of the things that being a natural healer has taught me is that when in doubt, it seldom hurts to go a little deeper. This goes for how we interact with others, how we do our jobs and how we approach life in general. Deeper physical and spiritual connections make life all the more beautiful.

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Today's Thought: A little substance makes almost any experience a whole lot more memorable. Dare to go beneath the surface and you open yourself to new universes and. You come up with questions that will keep you busy until your dying day.

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Today's Thought: Be willing to live your convictions. Pretty words won't suffice. Alluring images fall short. That is why your actions are the truest (and only) measure of your intent and core values.

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Today's Thought: Learn to say "NO" without feeling guilt and you will feel happier, less stressed plus have way more time to do things you really care about. :)

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Today's Thought: While still in my 20s I felt so protected by the Creator. Angels wings literally shielded me all the time. One day I asked Him to let me go. I wanted God to let me experience how normal people lived. I wanted to know of vices, to feel pain and passion, and to experience true loneliness.

That day, I felt my protectors literally back away. And I spent years exploring the shadows and testing the limits of my humanity while angels watched from a distance and God spoke to me in whispers.

I was foolish to whisk my protectors away and to walk this world without their divine protection. Despite having a few close friends, there are some things that only God can answer. Life is hard without a Father. I’ve humbly asked for their divine assistance and ongoing intervention. Thankfully, they listened!

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Find Brian's "Thoughts of the Day" helpful? Have questions? Take this moment to email info@briannorris.com and let him know!

Preface - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12

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