Tag Archives: Appreciation

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make Each Day Your Masterpiece.” – John Wooden

 

“Make each day your masterpiece.”

— John Wooden

 

Photo of Woman Raising Both Hands

 

Unmatched. That’s what Coach John Wooden is asking us to be.

To live a life unmatched each day — which is a masterpiece — means living according to your values.

When I usually think about a gargantuan goal, I think of something more along the lines of an Olympian. Yet it doesn’t always mean running (or winning) a marathon.

It is being your own masterpiece. That means today, you live with kindness in all the minute interactions you might have. It’s not just about doing your best, yet also treating others your best. You, your being and presence, are the kind masterpiece that positively affects the world.

From living your masterpiece as an individual, and on this basis of values — only then can you paint another masterpiece. Pick a passion… be it gardening, being an excellent bookkeeper, being elected to office, writing a short story, exploring the best hikes and appreciating nature… And step by step, create excellence. Get inducted into your own hall of fame.

But remember, the greatest hall of fame is… treating others your best.

 


John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010) was an American basketball coach. He was a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (inducted in 1973). He was the first person ever enshrined in both categories. His ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college basketball coach. He was married to Nellie Riley for 53 years, and they had two children. After Nellie’s death, John had a monthly ritual until his own death 25 years later, of visiting her grave and writing her a love letter.

Bio Source: Wikipedia  Fig¹.  Photo by Daniel Reche on Pexels

 

 

The Classic Pamela Positive: Praise and Joy Should Be a Permanent Part of Our Soul

 

A person is fully human

“when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul.  Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live.”

―G. K. Chesterton

 

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G.K. Chesteron certainly let us know what we need to focus on: joy. And what a life force it is! We don’t realize how much our thoughts impact us, our minds, our actions, our responses.  And therefore how it affects others’ minds, actions, and responses. He also points to the vapidness of negative thinking. What can it do, how can it build? It only tears down. And so we should, as best as possible, obliterate it from thought.

 

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We can contribute so much in this world. It starts with our thoughts; it starts right now; and that joy can carry us to an entirely different level of harmonious living.

Thank you to Gilbert Keith Chesterton for such wonderful advice.


G.K. Chesterton was a profound English writer of the 20th century who contributed across philosophy and poetry, as well as fiction. Two of his best-known works are Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. He also wrote a weekly column in The London Illustrated News for thirty years. He was known for his incredible intellect, desire to decrease political divisions, and strong reasoning skills.

Bio Source: The Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton  Fig¹. Photo by Rob Laughter on Unsplash  Fig². Photo by Kacper Szczechla on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: Give a Gift Every Day

 

Give a gift every day.

Send your friend’s birthday gift early.

See a gift that would be meaningful for someone you care about, and just buy it. Give it to them now.

Take the time to cook a meal for your partner or your roommate. Take the time to cook a meal for yourself.

Smile at a person walking down the street.

Smile at a homeless person and stop and learn their name. There is the gift of knowing someone. Of acknowledging you care.

Be kind to yourself.

 

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Get in bed early.

Say three gratefuls before you fall asleep.

Say three gratefuls when you wake up.

Believe today is special.

Take time at lunch to be grateful for three more things.

Pay the phone bill for your roommate.

Drop off banana bread for your neighbor.

Give a lot. Expect little.

Smile at yourself in the mirror.

Work hard and attain the gift of devotion to something you believe in.

Work and leave early and give yourself a gentle night off, nurturing yourself.

Stop and look at nature. Any part of nature. The expanse of the sky; drifting clouds; a vibrant flower.

Give yourself the gift of awareness of how precious and beautiful life is every day.


Fig¹.  Photo by Rob Laughter on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: How Can You Use and Reuse Paper?

 

We can live consciously and thoughtfully about how we use paper.

When you write a note, could you also reuse it again, and use the other side? When you receive a card, is there a portion of it that’s not written on, that could be used for a casual note to a roommate, spouse or friend?

 

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Or perhaps you could even use it for a to-do list. When you receive a box of a recent book or item of clothing, you can save it for holiday gifts. Let’s think creatively about our trees…

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Smile at a Stranger, and the Important Reason Why”

 

“Walk down the street and smile at a stranger. He’ll smile at the next stranger passing by, and then the whole street is smiling. And no one knows why.” 

-Juliana Margulies

 

woman sitting in front of brown wooden table

 

I love this quote. The only reason why we need to smile… is simply to give joy. Give joy to ourselves and to others… it’s one of our main reasons for being. And while people may not know why you are smiling, they’ll soon find out. It makes the world go around with peacefulness, graciousness and loving kindness. That’s reason enough. 🙂

 


Juliana Margulies is an American actress who achieved success as a regular character on ER, for which she received an Emmy. She grew up in New York, the youngest daughter of Jewish immigrants. Her mother was a teacher and her father was a philosopher and Madison Avenue advertising executive. More recently, she took the lead role in The Good Wife, and has received a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards. Margulies attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she appeared in a few college plays. In 2007, she married to Keith Lieberthal, and they have one son together.

Bio Source: Wikipedia  Fig¹. Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: “When You Learn Something from People…It Is a Gift” – Yo-Yo Ma

 

“When you learn something from people or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve that gift and to build on that gift.”

— Yo-Yo Ma

 

Making Music across Borders: Yo-Yo Ma

 

Yo-Yo Ma is a world renowned cellist.  He could be so high and proud. Yet he is humble and learning. That is so he can be the best musician and person.

Appreciate the gifts people offer you…and thank them by passing on their gift to others, whether through appreciation, gratitude, love, recognition, sincerity.  Life and music are about giving.

We thank Yo-Yo Ma for his contribution to music and the world.

And I am thanking you for your personal gift to the world, whatever that might be!

Lovingly,

Pamela


Yo-Yo Ma is one of the world’s most famous cellists. He has recorded more than 90 albums and received 19 Grammy Awards.

Ma was born in Paris, though the family moved to New York when he was five. He comes from a musical family. His mother was a singer and his father was a violinist; his older sister is also a violinist. A child prodigy, Ma began playing the cello at age four, and performed for John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower at the age of seven. He attended Julliard at age nine and went on to study at Harvard. He has performed with orchestras around the world and has put out 75 albums.

Ma currently plays with the Silk Road Ensemble; their goal is to bring together musicians from the countries which are historically linked by the Silk Road, an ancient trade route linking southeast Asia through the Middle East to northern Africa and the Mediterranean coast of Europe.

Biosource: Wikipedia, Yo-Yo Ma Official Website: https://www.yo-yoma.com/  Fig¹. World Economic Forum on flickr

The Classic Pamela Positive: Celebrate True Wealth

 

Wealth is a state of mind and life. We tend to associate poverty with money. But poverty can be mental, emotional or Spiritual Poverty. I am often struck by this in my travel and volunteering in developing nations. Often, the divorce rates are low. Families not only stay together, but also spend time together. They gather food from the fields together, cook together and share meals together.

 

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Contrast us: 15 minute family dinners if we are lucky. Fast-food and food distanced from its natural base. We eat alone; we eat in our cars. Divorces are easier to get, and in our mind it can be easier to allow those thoughts in as a possibility, rather than work through critical issues. So we lose the connection to family. We lose the connection to the local farm. We can lose the connection to long-term commitment.

 

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We lose our greatest asset in natural wealth: relationships. Relationships with ourselves, our families, the earth. This wealth creates happy, balanced, productive, lower stress lifestyles, because we are connected in the way we are meant to be.

Further, we often pass by our heritage and where we come from. In many emerging nations, and especially in the continent of Africa, we see tribes value their connection to their heritage as primary importance even above their nationality. There is a deep-rooted connection to rituals and history which keeps people grounded in who they are, and the deeper, long-term meaning of being a part of a larger community in their lives.

 

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Poverty is about money, at times. It has to be addressed as people should have the opportunity to live productive lives and make choices about what they would like to devote their lives to. Poverty is also about our well-being. Often when we get beyond “money poverty,” we forget “well-being poverty,” and get trapped in a go-go-go consumer culture.

 

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I hope we can celebrate the healthy wealth that is accessible to us all in positive, committed relationships with ourselves, one another, our families, our earth, our communities and our heritage. How wonderful this is available to us all.


Fig. 1: Photo by Lee Myungseon on Unsplash  Fig. 2: Photo by Sai De Silva on Usnplash
Fig. 3: Photo by Ramdan Authentic on Unsplash  Fig. 4: Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash