Living in Gratitude: 25 Principles for Adult Behavior

Living your best life is your most important journey. ~Oprah Winfrey

Grateful Dead lyricist, John Perry Barlow, was also the founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit leading the charge in defending civil freedom in the digital environment by championing privacy, free expression, and innovation.

Barlow, who passed away in early 2018, had 25 principles for adult behavior that offer an insightful checklist for moving through life gracefully and with poise.

  1. Be patient. No matter what.

It takes time to understand ourselves and others. It takes time for others to understand us. It takes time to learn, grow and change. Patience enables all of these things to occur in their proper time and in a healthy, open atmosphere.

  1. Don’t badmouth

Assign responsibility, never blame. Say nothing behind another’s back you’d be unwilling to say, in exactly the same tone and language, to his face.

The best feedback is a conversation that opens up into a dialogue, developing new insights and ideas. The worst feedback is the “you’re wrong”, with no insight and no invitation to get into a dialogue. Read more

Living in Gratitude: 7 Ways to Make the World a Better Place

You make the world a better place by making yourself a better person. ~Scott Scorrell

During our lifetime, each of us makes an impact. One of the most significant impressions we can make is by doing what we can as individuals to make the world a better place.

Here are 7 ways we can have a positive influence.


If everyone endeavored to achieve this goal, our world would be transformed. We should all strive to live by this motto. Help others. Be patient. Smile more. Say thank you. Be courteous. Make eye contact. Spread kindness, love, and goodwill every day.


Instead of focusing on the negative, look at what is wonderful and amazing. Sure, it’s easy to get caught up in what isn’t going our way, to complain, argue, and get upset or annoyed. Yet by looking and being grateful for the good, we can shift our outlook, enjoying what life has to offer.


Being a good parent or grandparent (or an encouraging adult influence if you don’t have children in your life) is a way to positively impact and inspire the younger generation and as such, the world as a whole. Working toward offering youth new and better opportunities, talking to them about what it means to be part of a connected, global world and teaching them to make their own uplifting contributions is a huge payoff for the next generation.

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Living In Gratitude: A Simple Formula For Living Your Best Life

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all. ~Oscar Wilde

Life is a gift. When we wake up every day to that realization and do the things that really matter, we move from a place of mere existence to one of living.

So what DOES matter? Below is a simple formula for living your best life.

Take care of yourself, body, mind, and spirit.

Learn from the past. Plan for the future. Live in the present.

Be kind, even to those who are unkind.

Take responsibility for your actions.

Realize mistakes are learning opportunities not something to beat yourself up over.

Listen more. Talk less.

Do something nice and try not to get caught.

Strive for excellence, not perfection.

Be humble.

Be gracious.

Praise rather than criticize.

Laugh. Love. Hug.

Connect with others.

Surround yourself with people who inspire and support you. Do the same for them.

Be on time.

Live beneath your means.

Spend time in nature.

Take time to be alone. Reflect.

Be courteous and polite.

Say thank you. A lot.

Be tolerant and understanding, even if you don’t agree.

Give of your time and talents.

Communicate clearly.

Don’t take things personally.

Instead of assuming, ask for clarification.

Take risks. Overcome fears.

Believe in yourself.

Be grateful.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff.

May your day be filled with gratitude and good things.



Living In Gratitude: The Power of Breath

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~Oprah Winfrey

With all the beauty, opportunity and abundance life brings, there are many things that can cause us stress, worry, irritation, anger, and anxiety.

One of the simplest and best ways to help us manage these and other emotions is with our breath.

When we are overcome with negative emotions, our breathing becomes shallow. Our inhalations and exhalations are short, with only results in heightening the effects of the emotion we’re experiencing.

By breathing properly, our bodies and minds benefit in the following 5 ways:

  1. Our muscles relax, reducing our physical tension
  2. Oxygen flows throughout our bodies, improving our body’s function and mental focus Read more

Living In Gratitude: 10 Tips on Disconnecting From Your Digital Devices

Digital media is everywhere and most of us are engaged in its use on a daily basis, both personally and professionally.

Digital media is defined by the Digital Media and Society report as “products and services from the media, entertainment and information industry, it includes digital platforms (websites and apps), digitized content (text, audio, video, images) and services (information, communication, entertainment) accessed via a variety of digital devices.

Life as we know it has changed thanks to digital media, including how we connect and collaborate. Hyperconnectivity, the increasing digital interconnection of people and things, has done much to improve our quality of life including speeding up the dissemination of knowledge and information, building bridges over the boundaries of time and location, and fostering unparalleled levels of communication and social interaction.

Many of digital media’s positive effects are found in our professional lives. We can collaborate and communicate more easily with people around the world. We can improve our skills via online courses. We can work virtually.

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Living In Gratitude: The Power of Hope

I don’t want to get my hopes up.

So many of us utter this simple statement without realizing the impact it is having on our lives.

Our rationale for not being hopeful is that we are being realistic and instead of setting ourselves up for disappointment when our hopes fall short, we instead have steeled ourselves against the worst (and in our mind, probably the more likely scenario).

According to psychotherapist Katherine Schafler, we validate this ‘emotional restriction as mature and disciplined.’ But what this avoidance of hope is really doing is dampening our decision-making, perspective on life and ability to creatively problem solve.

A quote by Zig Ziglar conveys how important hope is: “The door to a balanced success swings wide open on the hinges of hope and encouragement.Read more

Living In Gratitude: 7 Ways to Cultivate Resilience

Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient. ~Steve Maraboli

Resilience, the ability to recover quickly from adversity, is a skill that proves its worth throughout our lives. The characteristics of this personal toughness include:

  • They practice mindfulness and purposefully pay attention to their life
  • They possess a solid self esteem
  • Recognizing that this too shall pass
  • Use past successes to confront current challenges
  • Not comparing themselves to others
  • Realizing setbacks and adversity are stepping stones to transformation
  • Finding humor in every situation
  • They relinquish control

Harnessing the capacity to recover from difficult times is critical for healthy childhood development but this characteristic is often needed most as we enter midlife. During this time, life can serve up innumerable stressors: divorce, loss of a parent, financial concerns, illness, or obstacles in our careers.

Thankfully, with the perspective gained from life experience as well as the ability to better manage emotions, those in their middle years possess characteristics and behaviors that may allow resiliency to be more easily developed. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Change These Two Thoughts

Acknowledging the good you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. ~Eckhart Tolle

A few blogs ago, we discussed the importance of an uplifting morning ritual to begin each day on the right foot and in a positive state of mind.

For those of us who haven’t yet implemented any of the suggestions from that article, or possibly even those of us who have, we may still be unconsciously undermining our days with two thoughts.

“I didn’t get enough sleep.”


“I don’t have enough time.”

A recent article penned by psychologist and writer, Katherine Schafler, discusses how these two thoughts become a ‘default mode’ for many of us, setting us up for a mindset of scarcity. She says that we “focus on what we wish was different, and in doing so, we subtly reject all that we already have.Read more

Living In Gratitude: Desiderata

The passing of decades does not change what fundamentally makes us human, what values and attributes make us good people or the way in which we should treat one another.

The poem Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, was written in 1927. Despite being written 90 years ago, it’s words of wisdom still hold true, even in the 21st century. It reminds us to be kind, respectful, tolerant and honest, both to ourselves and to all those we encounter.


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit. Read more

Living In Gratitude: 13 Life Changing Lessons

Wayne Dyer was a profound person whose wisdom about honoring ourselves and living in truth give us great insight into how to live life. Below are 13 life-changing lessons we can learn from this incredible man.

  1. Cooperation is healthier than competition

When we constantly work on bettering ourselves rather than comparing and competing with others, our focus shifts from one of separation to one of inclusion and cooperation.

“If you’re always in a hurry, always trying to get ahead of the other guy, or someone else’s performance is what motivates you, then that person is in control of you.” ~ Wayne Dyer

  1. Don’t try to change those you love

We should love people for who they are not what we want them to be. Love means not imposing our expectations, will and beliefs to mold others into someone else.

“Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.” ~ Wayne Dyer  Read more