Tag Archives: power of words

Bright-Side of the Web: Bobby McFerrin plays…the audience

Think you aren’t prone to sugestion? Bobby McFerrin challenges this notion in this week’s Bright-Side of the Web. From the World Science Festival in 2009, he demonstrates this principle.

Watch here.  Don’t worry, you’ll be happy you did!

Happy Friday!

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30-Day Challenge – Day 26

You’re rounding the bend.  The finish-line is in sight. 

4 more days!

This is the last weekend.  You’re almost there! 

Keep up the great work!


Photo Credit: http://photopin.com

Positive Ponderings

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?


Think about it. 

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30-Day Challenge – Day 22

How’s your challenging coming along? Are you still going strong?

You’re nearing the finish line. Don’t give up now.  

You’re 3/4 of the way there. 

Only 8 more days!!!

You can do it! I know you can. 

Bright-Side of the Web: Coursera

Free University Education For All!

I mean it.  Everyone.  Everywhere.  No pre-requisites. No matter your income. The only provision is that you have access to a computer.

Coursera is a web-based portal from which to access free online classes offered from universities around the globe.

Have you ever wished you could say that you had a certificate from Stanford, Johns Hopkins, U. of London, or U. of Melbourne?  Well now you can.  Currently there are 33 universities offering a total of 198 courses from eighteen categories, and they continue to add more.

Courses generally range from 4-12 weeks in length and because it’s all online, you can study on your own schedule.

Check it out!  Over 1.6 million people already have!
What have you got to lose? (I’ve already signed up for four!)

Find Coursera’s Course Calendar here. 

Coursera? Definitely a Bright-Side of the Web!

What courses are you going to take?

 photo credit: http://photopin.com

Go Ahead, Make My Day!

If not mine, why not someone else’s?

Has anyone ever said something to you that immediately lifted your spirits?  Likely, so you’ll understand how I felt in the following situation.

Twice in as many months, complete strangers have come up to me and said “I love your hair colour!”

I am a 40-something woman and my hair is its natural colour – grey.

These women have gone on to tell me that they have been thinking of letting theirs go grey and after seeing mine, they are convinced that they want to go through with it. I am complimented beyond belief and when we part, I walk away feeling a little bit taller, somewhat proud, definitely happier, which in turn makes me more pleasant to the next people I meet.

I have had a few others strangers over the years say the same thing and it always comes at a time when I am seriously considering dyeing it. Their unprompted comments give me a boost and literally “make my day”.

The kindness of strangers has a particular power that the kindness of friends or family does not.

We are suspicious of compliments from the familiar people in our lives.

They’re only saying that because they feel they have to.

They don’t want to hurt my feelings.

They don’t really mean it.

However, if a completely unknown-to-us person, a random individual, goes out of their way to tell us something, then it must be true and no matter how many others have told us the same thing, we can finally believe it.

How frustrating for all the others! When you tell them that a complete stranger said such-and-such to you, their response is no doubt “I know! I’ve been telling you that for years!”

One day, my mid-teen son and I were in a local sandwich shop and we were served by a young man in his late teens/early twenties – an employee, not the owner. In fact, the owner wasn’t even on-site – I know because I frequented this particular shop. Also, I had never met this young man before.  We received enthusiastic, polite and pleasant service for the entire time that it took him to make our order and cash us out.

Barely outside the door, my son commented on what a nice guy he was and what great service he gave us.  We both remarked that you don’t often get that kind of service and I noted that he should keep that in mind when he begins working. He agreed that it definitely made a difference in our experience.

My son witnessed customer service at its best, we discussed its benefits and I hoped he filed it away for future use. I had done my job.  I could have left it at that – but I didn’t.

The next week when I went in to pick up a sandwich for lunch, the owner was there. I asked to speak to him. He stepped aside with a worried look on his face. This was an unusual request from me. What was I going to say? What was I going to complain about?  I started off by telling him that my son and I had been in and two young men were working the counter and he was not on-site.  The look of worry increased. Then I went on to sing the young man’s praises.  Worry was replaced with relief and then pride. I had made his day – and I hope, reciprocally, the young man’s.

We don’t hesitate to complain about bad service so why don’t we also praise great service? Who knows, the manager may be looking to advance an employee to another level, or it may be review time and your comment could end up meaning a salary increase to someone who desperately needs one.

We don’t realize the power of our words – a stranger’s unbiased, therefore they must have some truth to them, words.

So the next time you get great service, make sure the manager hears about it.  And when you see a stranger in the check-out line, on the bus, or in an elevator and you think “What a beautiful coat”, “Nice shoes” or even “Great hair!”, tell them.

Go ahead. Make their day. 

Share your ‘make my day’ experiences below.

*This post was written before my resent Liebster Award nomination. Talk about making my day!!

Photo credit: http://photopin.com


Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

Kind words can be short
and easy to speak,
but their echoes
are truly endless.

Mother Teresa

Photo credit: http://photopin.com

A Major Award!

That’s the way I feel about it anyway!

I signed on to my computer Sunday morning and the first message I opened was from a lovely young woman with a spirit that exceeds her physical being. I met her in cyber-space only a short time ago. She is on a journey toward positivity and she is well on her way achieving her goal.

We have exchanged comments, exchanged ‘likes’ and she has graced me with the honour of following my blog. As a new blogger, this is something very special. I don’t know how she found me but I am glad we have met.

I eagerly opened her message to see which of my posts she liked and what her comment would be. I value her feedback – always positive and encouraging.

To my surprise, shock and sheer delight, the message read: “Just nominated you for an award peach!”.  Really? Me? Wow! How nice! …what’s an award peach??

I followed her instructions to check out her post for more details. It turned out that she had been nominated for a Liebster Award and part of her requirements were that she nominate eleven other bloggers whose followings are under 200 and to whom she is to then pose eleven questions.

I was thrilled to be one her chosen group. I have only been blogging for six weeks so for her to think that I am worthy of such a nomination is humbling. And upon further investigation, I realized that she wasn’t nominating me for a peach award but instead for a Liebster Award too!

A Liebster (German for ‘dearest’ or ‘favourite’) Award is a blogger-to-blogger award. A chain letter of sorts. One blogger receives the award and then nominates their favourite bloggers. There is no actual winner among the nominees, which was what I had first assumed but rather the ‘being nominated’ was equivalent to receiving the award.  She had chosen my blog as one of her favourites!

A search for the rules that accompany the award have turned up various findings. It seems the blogs must have less than 200 followers (although some posts say 3,000). Some rules say you should nominate eleven other blogs and some claim only five.  Some say that you need to provide eleven details previously unknown about yourself then answer eleven questions posed by the nominator, while others say five details and five questions and some say no such thing.  Since there seem to be no hard-and-fast rules, I will do a combination.

I will answer the eleven thought-provoking questions posed to me.

I choose not to give out random facts about myself. Instead I choose to retain some privacy since the answers to these questions and my postings will likely reveal more about me that I realize anyway.

I will nominate four of the blogs that I am currently following. I would nominate all seven but three already exceed the ‘number of followers’ stipulations. (Some of these four may too but I couldn’t see their numbers so I’m nominating them anyway). Again, as a newcomer to this venue, I have not explored its depths. I follow and select those whose messages I feel support my philosophy and I am sure with time, my list will grow.  To my four nominees, I will pose seven questions – because that’s all I can think of.

So, to my new friend, a special and heart-felt thank you for your nomination and thoughtfulness.  Here are the answers to your questions:

If you could go one place right now, where would you go?

That’s easy and hard at the same time. The easy answer is Europe – anywhere in Europe. The hard part is, where specifically in Europe? Sometimes I imagine going to the airport with my passport, a small suitcase packed with clothes that I can layer depending on the weather and a credit card (with money in the bank to cover the charges). I would then walk up to the international departures board and buy a ticket for next European destination – my starting point from where I will branch out and explore. 

What is your favourite thing to do to relax?

Watch romantic comedies with a bowl of popcorn or potato chips.

What is your favourite flower?

Hmmm…tricky. There are so many to choose from. I love purple flowers. In the spring, it’s lilacs but then again seeing the tulips pop up seems rejuvenating.  In summer, phlox is lovely. In the autumn, I’m drawn to airy asters and deep dark purple mums.  To purchase a bouquet, I tend toward alstroemeria but gerbera daisy are quite attractive too. 

What do you most like to do whilst with friends?

That’s easy; meet for tea and a bite to eat so we can catch-up and chat about the events in our lives. I treasure those times.

When listening to music, which track do you have on repeat right now?

I don’t often sit and listen to music and having music on while I’m working can be a distraction for me especially if it is music with lyrics. Having said that though, if I choose to listen to music while I’m working, I sign on to www.sky.fm and listen to the Smooth Jazz feed. I find it uplifting; it has a beat that keeps me motivated and it is instrumental. On the occasion that I put on a CD while I’m doing something, I often reach for Jamie Cullum, Michael Bublé, John Mayer or Diana Krall.   

What does writing do for you?

Writing is a creative outlet for me. I am finding that writing this blog has helped me develop my voice. I am taking the time to explore ideas that I have been noodling with for quite a while. It is giving me confidence in my abilities as a writer. 

How does blogging help you?

I have partially answered this with the previous question so I’ll expand here. My hope when starting my blog was that I could provide a place where people could go and be assured of reading something positive – a contrast to much of the media that swarms around us on a daily basis. A place that would encourage self-reflection and perhaps spark changes for the betterment of our world. Grand goals, especially not knowing how this blogging stuff all worked. 

I am fairly new to blogging and I have been surprised at how excited I am about the process. Getting responses and follows from people who I have never met is uplifting. I am encouraged when I look at my stats page and see from where in the world people are linking in with me. I find that fascinating. It is giving me hope that there are others out there who, like me, believe that we need to be projecting positivity.  

Writing about positivity and having people like what I write is actually making me even more positive so you can imagine how I felt to be added to this list of nominees!

If you could be an animal, what would you be?

Very interesting question.  The first thing that came to mind was a monkey, then a dog but I think (and I’ve never really thought about this question before and may come up with a better answer later) I would like to be a dolphin. They are intelligent creatures, fun, playful, and seemingly free and I could spend my days swimming and traveling long distances. One of my bucket list items is to swim with dolphins.  

What was the first thing you did when you got up this morning?

After the routine hygiene stuff, I went downstairs, popped in a dvd and followed Rodney Yee as he guided me through a yoga routine. I’m half-way through my 30-day challenge, and loving it!

George Clooney, Gerard Butler or Johnny Depp?

Haha! Wow, you really ask some tough questions… Hmmm, George Clooney, Gerard Butler, George Clooney, Gerard Butler…I would have to say Gerard Butler solely based on his character in P.S. I Love You. I don’t know if he is anything like that in real life but I’ll take the movie character version. 

 Thank you again for nominating me. This has been a lot of fun. Love and Happiness to you!

And now for my four nominees:

For the Liebster Award, I nominate the following inspiring bloggers:


To my nominees, here are the seven questions that I would like you to answer:

1. To where have you traveled that you would like to return?
2. Where or when are you the most happy?
3. What is your favourite quote?
4. What advice would you give yourself if you could go back ten years?
5. Who inspires you?
6. What is your favourite indulgence?
7. Name one thing that you learned last week.

Please take the time to visit the other bloggers and websites that I am following. I think you will agree, they are all Positively inspiring!

 Photo credits: http://photopin.com
leg lamp: flickr.com/photos/brianjmatis/6586603047/
Liebster logo: flickr.com/photos/backdoorsurvival/6843770565/

Positive Ponderings: One Action

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If you could do one thing TODAY
to bring a SMILE to someone’s face,

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What Would You DO?

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October 30-Day Challenge – Day 1

When I picture my ideal self, I picture someone healthy and strong.  I am not that way right now – fairly healthy, could be more so; barely strong, can’t get much less.  So, for my 30-day challenge, I am challenging myself to do yoga every day, beginning TODAY. I have tried this before, many times, without success but this time, I am going to be accountable to you. I will update you periodically on my progress (and pretend that you care).

Did you think of a challenge for yourself? I would love you to share it below and share your progress too.  And I assure you, I do care. 

Oooo! I’m excited! 30-day challenges; this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Find out more about the 30-Day Challenge. Click here

photo credit: http://photopin.com/

How To See Yourself Through Someone Else’s Eyes

Why do we place such importance on how others perceive us? 

We all go through life thinking we know what other people think of us.  Our own self-perception has us making assumptions that ‘so-and-so must think that I’m blank’ when in fact so-and-so is actually thinking the opposite.  Or, they aren’t thinking about you at all.   As Eleanor Roosevelt said:

 “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you
if you realized how seldom they do.” 

We all want to be liked, by someone.  But are you showing your true colours or are you pretending to be something you are not so a specific person will find you attractive and want to be with you?

What if they are doing the same thing to impress you?

How do you know who they really are? How do they know you?

Too much energy, in my opinion, is going into our perceived persona.  Social media sites encourage teens to ‘friend’ everyone they remotely know or who remotely knows someone they sort of know, or people they have never met, only to have a multitude of ‘friends’ and appear popular.

Is it that they want to feel popular themselves or do they want others, even the ones they have never met, to think they are popular?

Isn’t it better to have a few close friends who really know you, who get who you are, who know what you’re about, with whom you can share your deepest thoughts and aspirations and who like you for who you are – warts and all?  Your true honest-to-goodness BFF’s.

There is an exercise called the Appreciation Circle.  A group of friends/colleagues/people who know one another sit in a circle so each can see the other.  Starting with one person as the subject, each person in the circle says one thing that they really like or love about that person, then they go onto the next the person and so on.

Seeing ourselves through the love and appreciation of others is a mirror in which we should all gaze. 

Imagine if the Appreciation Circle was done in schools from Kindergarten through to high school graduation.
Do you think that would have made a difference in the way you see yourself?

The Bright-Side of the Web: Tenzin Palmo

In the one minute excerpt below from the film Cave in the Snow, Tenzin Palmo, a Tibetan Buddhist nun, discusses how she chose which road to take: the easy road or the hard road.

The advice she received can be used by all who are wrestling to smooth the bumps in their own journey to the brighter-side – which is not always an easy path.

Watch the one minute clip here: Gaiam Life

Have you had experience taking the hard road? Share your experiences below.

How To Combat The Negative Messages Your Teen Hears

A friend of mine, one who also wrestles with her inner Pollyanna, is one of the best mothers that I know.  Not only is she an inspiration to her children for her strength, courage, caring, compassion and hearing (not just listening, but hearing), she is an inspiration to me.

Recently she shared something with me that I would like to share with you (with her permission of course).

She believes in the power of words and is determined to make the ones that she says to her children (who are now young adults) meaningful and positive.

The words she hopes will be the tapes that play in their heads.

On many mornings, upon entering their bathroom to begin their day, her children are greeted with a positive message written on the mirror with a dry-erase marker:

“You are the sunshine that brightens my day.” 

“I love your laugh.” 

“You make the world a better place.” 

Not only would these message make you feel good but written by the hand of a parent or loved one, the messages would uplift and resonate deep within your heart and soul because they also say:

“You are worthy.” 

“You are valued.” 

And there is no better message than that.

Share the ways you uplift your children.

photo credit: Carolin Grandin, copyright