Soul Food for November 30th 2012: With YOUR help, could we connect with 5 million teachers, and give them something of value at no cost to them?

Happy Post-Thanksgiving Week!

I do love the JFK quote: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

It reminds me that love and gratitude are verbs and constant and repeated practice means “behaving into them” regularly so they become habits not just fleeting feelings or seasonal rituals.

Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect as my karate teacher used to love to say…

This week’s posts share some common themes:

  • The law of reciprocity– where largesse begets largesse
  • The abundance principle which contradicts the scarcity principle and trusts there is enough for everyone
  • Attention as the currency of the new economy
  • The Law of Concentrated Attention– where what you focus on manifests
  • It is Better to Give than to Receive-The only things you keep in life are the things you give away

Post-Thanksgiving thanks giving…

First, my friend and bestselling author Steve Farber is doing something outrageously cool. He is sharing his greatest gift.

Steve’s bestselling book has inspired leaders, business people and educators alike.

Here is what one kindred spirit had to say about it. “The power of the principles within LEAP to change lives, organizations and communities is irrefutable. These principles are timeless and will work in any situation where hearts and minds are willing and unselfish. They will continue to transform me, my building and my community.” –David Pinter, Principal, Ft Caroline Elementary School, Jacksonville, Florida

I was with Steve recently at the California School Library Association’s Annual Conference Leadership Day in San Jose, where Steve generously offered a digital copy of this bestselling book FREE to every educator in the United States!

Here is what he has to say…

Personally, I’m deeply thankful for the educators in our world–those teachers, principals, superintendents, admins, librarians, and support staff who every day devote themselves to the nurturing and development of our next generations of leaders. I believe that’s what educators really do; they’re leadership developers in the most profound way. That’s why I’m happy to announce that my publisher and I have made my book, The Radical Leap Re-Energized, free to any and all educators. Some of my biz associates think this is…um…unwise–they can’t see the “business validation” in my doing such a thing. But that’s never stopped me before 🙂 So…If you’re an educator, or if you know an educator (you MUST fit in one of those categories, right?) please go and/or send your educator friends to to download a free copy of the book. We have around 5 million K-12 educators to reach here in the US alone (Audacity!), so I invite you to spread the word far and wide.  Until next time with Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof. Steve Farber

In the same spirit, can you help me spread the word and get this into the hands of as many educators as you care about?

If it is easy to do, it is easy not to do so don’t wait- ADVOCATE!

There are No Coincidences- New Discoveries About Happiness

Ok as I am writing this, I get the following message from Will Marre who graciously keynoted at our Annual Martial Arts Mini-Camp at UCSD earlier this month…

New discoveries about the nature of happiness tell us that happiness is not just the pleasant outcomes of fortunate circumstances. Indeed, we can all create deeper and longer lasting feelings of happiness whenever we want to. In fact our actual circumstances have a much smaller impact on our sense of well-being than our inner life and our outer actions. Happiness is actually something to be directly pursued rather than something to wait for. Here are the three top ways science says make us feel happy.

1. Thanksgiving, or actually gratitude: We can learn to be world class at feeling grateful for good things in our lives. This is not as easy as it sounds. Our default thinking takes the good things of our lives for granted while we focus our attention on what’s unpleasant. A tip to increase your feelings of gratitude is to focus on one specific thing at a time. You could focus on your health and energy, your children, a warm home, a loving friend, or a comfortable pair of shoes or the taste of chocolate. Whatever it is, you only feel grateful when you focus on that one thing. Now imagine your life without it. The contrast of feeling loss deepens our appreciation for what we have right now. Next, tell someone what you’re grateful for and why. Going public with inner feelings increases positive brain chemicals and brightens happy emotions.

2. Give: We now can observe brain activity of givers and receivers and it’s clear that it is the giver who feels more happiness through giving than the “getter.” I remember at age 5 receiving a red fire engine for Christmas. I wanted this fire engine so badly that I begged Santa for it. Repeatedly. Endlessly. Sixty years later my mother told me she still remembered that Christmas because I had been so elated. She told me I could not have possibly been happier in receiving the fire engine than the joy she felt giving it. Turns out that science backs her up. Givers have more positive brain activity than receivers.

3. Growth: Our sense of our personal power arises when we are confident we can select meaningful goals and achieve them. This is called self-effectiveness or self-efficacy. Self-effectiveness gives us confidence and generates self-respect which are directly associated with happiness. If you can imagine being a better, more capable person, take steps to advance yourself. Just starting on a more positive course will trigger optimism, inner resolve, and confidence — all happiness builders.

So now you have three things you can do intentionally to increase your happiness; gratitude, giving, and growth are the rocket fuel that launches us into a higher orbit of joy. These three actions are the core habits of happiness and life satisfaction. That’s why Thanksgiving is such a potent holiday. It’s a day to reflect on the large and small sources of joy. It’s a time to pitch in and help at whatever needs to be done. Don’t let the lower emotions of Black Friday bargain hunting become your theme music for the holiday. Rather mindfully promote gratitude, giving, and growth and see how you feel.

Being happy is something you create. Something you can do. Happy is a verb!

Intrigued by Reciprocation and What it Fosters?

This happened to be in the news this week…

So Many Verbivores So Little Time…

Since so often we are time starved, let’s make the most of every moment…

It only takes one smile to offer welcome…
and blessed be the person who will share it.

It only takes one moment to be helpful…
and blessed be the person who will spare it.

It only takes one joy to lift a spirit…
and blessed be the person who will give it.

It only takes one life to make a difference…
and blessed be the person who will live it.

by BJ Gallagher

Finally, a Musical Leaf?

This is pretty cool…

Click here: YouTube – ??Musical leaf-Whispering Hope

Thanks this week to Steve, Will and Larry

Stay grateful not hateful and musical not whimsical…


“Talent hits a target no one else can hit.
Genius hits a target no one else can see.”

–Arthur Schopenhauer

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