WHEN DO WE CALL THE KETTLE BLACK? This post is inspired from yesterday’s political event but is not politically focused. I look at life in general and the decisions we make, right or wrong, and how to improve our lives. Critical thinking is crucial to make effective and unbiased decisions and today we call it what it is. Please join me on the blog and share it with others. #blog #criticalthinking #amwriting #life #inspiration


WHEN DO YOU CALL THE KETTLE BLACK? Yesterday we had a horrible moment in our country’s politics? Americans had a challenge against our base principles and we will have to see how it plays out. I believe politics showed an ugly side and as a country, we should be thinking long and hard about when does the pot call the kettle black? We have to return to the principle of innocent until proven guilty and the requirement of evidence has to be present even if the witness comes across as credible. Now, that being said, my post is not of a true political origin but was inspired by those events. It came to me, as much as I do not like conflict or drama, I feel in fairness we have to call a kettle black to maintain integrity.

I wondered how many of us know the origin of the phrase The Pot Calling The Kettle Black?

The pot calling the kettle black

What’s the meaning of the phrase ‘The pot calling the kettle black’?

‘The pot calling the kettle black’ is a response often given when someone criticises another for a fault they also ‘the pot calling the kettle black’ have themselves.

What’s the origin of the phrase ‘The pot calling the kettle black’?

The pot calling the kettle black.

This phrase originates in Cervantes’ Don Quixote, or at least in Thomas Shelton’s 1620 translation – Cervantes Saavedra’s History of Don Quixote:

“You are like what is said that the frying-pan said to the kettle, ‘Avant, black-browes’.”

The first person who is recorded as using the phrase in English was William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, in his Some fruits of solitude, 1693:

“If thou hast not conquer’d thy self in that which is thy own particular Weakness, thou hast no Title to Virtue, tho’ thou art free of other Men’s. For a Covetous Man to inveigh against Prodigality, an Atheist against Idolatry, a Tyrant against Rebellion, or a Lyer against Forgery, and a Drunkard against Intemperance, is for the Pot to call the Kettle black.”

‘The pot calling the kettle black’ is one of a number of proverbial sayings that guard against hypocrisy and complacency. The context of Penn’s use of the expression is one which is similar to ‘He who is without sin, cast the first stone‘. Another is ‘you can’t hold with the hare and run with the hounds.

Matthew 7:5 , in the King James Version of the Bible has:

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Shakespeare also expressed a similar notion in a line in Troilus and Cressida, 1606:

“The raven chides blackness.”

Developing Critical Thinking Skills to be an effective “Kettle Caller” is a good exercise for all of us to use these skills without adding emotional factors. I found an excerpt which gives us a starting point to stop, look, and most importantly listen.

6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Critical Thinking Skills

Chalkboard with two words: Problems and Solutions. Problems is crossed out.

While there are many more skills that we develop and draw upon in our professional lives, these 4 reign supreme. They are foundational to your ability to engage others, problem-solve, guide, motivate and navigate in organizational settings. And like everything else in life, mastery requires hard work and ample practice.

Our focus in this first post in the series on strengthening your core leadership skills is on critical thinking.

6 Practical Exercises to Strengthen Your Critical Thinking Skills

  1. Read about other leaders and the challenges they faced and how they solved them. I love the book, “Strategy Rules: 5 Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove and Steve Jobs,” by Yoffie and Cusumano, as a way to jump-start your thinking. While I have a long list of reading suggestions, for business professionals, this one provides some great insights and lessons from three of the individuals most responsible for creating our technology-driven world. For those whose preferences run to history, try “Winston Churchill: Memoirs of the Second World War,” where you get an up close and personal look at the nation and world-changing problems encountered by this war-time leader. If you don’t like my suggestions, find subjects and authors who expose you to new ideas and challenge you to think differently. I encourage my coaching clients to read thought-provoking content for at least 20-minutes every day.
  1. Exercise your critical thinking skills by analyzing your competitors. Study your competitors and attempt to distill and describe their strategies and more importantly, how and where they make money. Strive to understand the customer groups they focus on and how and why they win and lose. Do the same for your own firm and identify opportunities for your firm to beat the competitors. Engage your customer-facing colleagues in this exercise to gain their insights on competitor strategies and opportunities. This type of intelligence gathering and analysis is an excellent exercise for your entire team. ​​
  1. Find an orphan problem and adopt it! In every organization, there are annoying problems no one claims as their own. Identify an orphan problem and ask for your boss’s support in tackling it. For issues that cross functions, you’ll need to pull together a team. Guide your team through the process of analyzing the problem, interviewing key stakeholders and developing potential solutions. In addition to gaining visibility as a leader and problem-solver, you will be exercising all 4 of your core professional skill sets with this activity!
  1. Figure out what keeps executives in your firm awake at night. Invite your boss or an executive to lunch and ask questions about the strategy and direction of the firm. Strive to understand the big challenges they see for the firm and ask for their views on the ideal strategy and key actions. You will gain invaluable insight into the big issues surrounding the firm’s future and you will walk away with a better understanding of the complex challenges senior leaders grapple with on a daily basis.
  2. Put a team on it. Guide your team through structured problem-solution development activities. Work with your team to assess problems from multiple viewpoints and develop alternative solutions. For example, a competitor’s announcement might be viewed as a threat. While you should guide the team through data gathering, analysis and countermeasure development, try also framing the situation as an opportunity. By launching a new offering, your competitor is investing resources in one area. Does this mean they will be saying no to other segments or stretched thin to defend their legacy offerings? Learning to reframe issues and problems and to develop multiple solution sets depending upon the frame, is a powerful use of your critical thinking skills.
  1. Start and maintain a journal to chart your successes and mistakes. I encourage all of my coaching clients to log key decisions and expected outcomes and to reference these entries over time. By examining your assumptions and logic and comparing expected to actual outcomes, you gain insight into your own decision-making and critical thinking strengths and weaknesses.

As a blogger and an author I see a lot of input from several sources and I find the most effective dialogue and feedback are the most factual and/or personal experienced monologues on a subject. However, I find we have trouble putting our personal experiences aside and thinking without emotion or sentiment to non personal subjects. Finding a neutral place and listening without bias is such a wise choice but it is harder than doing it. Focus on the facts and realize that because something or someone has made you feel like you are in a position to call someone out, you may be looking at the situation in an unfavorable light. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by observing, thinking, and giving everything a fair and balanced objective chance.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location for credit reference. 








POWER UP BY POWER AIR FRYER OVEN is not an ad but my experience with making changes in how this southern gal now appreciates “frying” without the guilt and my own attempts/successes with my healthier way of cooking. I had a great response and interest in the first blog post and wanted to give everyone another chance to view my new way of cooking. #blog #powerairfryeroven #healthyeating #cooking #southernstyle #eating


POWER UP BY POWER AIR FRYER OVEN is the second post on a fantastic way of allowing yourself the pleasure of fried food taste without the guilt. I began using my new wonder machine and have been very pleased with its tasty way of eating healthier. Can you use it for many recipes? Yes, and when you order one, you get a recipe book to get you started but like me, you will find yourselves becoming more creative. I am including my first post which has been very popular with readers and for those of you who haven’t thought about trying this great way to cook like ole southern folks without the grease, at least find out more how to fry the right way.





POWER UP WITH POWER AIR FRYER OVEN. About two months ago, I decided to invest in a air fryer oven to reduce or eliminate frying in our kitchen. Before I go too far with this post, I LOVE fried foods and this was one of the hardest decisions but now one of the best decisions I have made. My husband came along, kicking and yelling I am a Fried Fanatic, but he realized soon that this is an opportunity to cook with less oil but yet the food is tasty.

Before I tell you all of the merits of this new way of us cooking, I want to take you back to my Southern roots where frying is like breathing, a built in natural way to cook. I remember bacon side meat, pork chops, chicken, sausage, salmon patties, and even our hamburgers were……Yes, FRIED with PRIDE! In the south, we figured out how to bread and fry pickles so don’t stand still in the south or someone may figure out a way to fry you (just kidding). I have ways to fry up most anything you would like. You have probably seen the recipe for fried Twinkies. Oh yes, the art of frying and the splashing of the grease. I have memories of the “pop” burns from grease splatters. We mastered the art of putting a piece of onion in our grease to prevent burning (by the way that works) and to test the temperature, placing a kitchen match in the oil or grease and when it strikes, the grease is hot enough. Safety warnings do not come with southern cooks and a grease fire created the need for fire extinguishers.

To be upfront, this Power Air Fryer Oven is not our first Air Fryer. Man, I bought an Air Fryer (sorry, but not critiquing brands) and it was not our cup of tea or better yet, not our frying pan. I don’t know if there was anything wrong with it, human operating error, or the fact we may not have been ready to face our addiction of fried foods and deal with it. Whatever the reason, our first air fryer after one use had the primo position on our yard sale. I think we felt that this was not the way to overcome our fried food addiction.

My friends kept posting some great looking food made in their air fryers and I was a little envious. Apparently they were smarter since they must have read the directions or had better air frying skills. I wanted this skill, I sought this skill, and I watched an infomercial (that’s right, one of those capture and take over your mind commercials) and they were creating magic with the Power Air Fryer Oven. They sold me and I went into my husband’s office and made the big announcement, I was going to order US one of those air fryers but this one was an oven. I wish I had taken a picture of Greg as it would have been priceless. He thought his wife, the frying queen of the kitchen, had lost her ever-loving mind. Oh no, we aren’t going through that experience again was the look in his eyes. He thought of every excuse, but I stood my air frying ground and ordered it.

Now, I am posting on a regular basis new dishes I have made in the oven and what is cool is how much Greg loves the food. I have added recipes on a board I created on Pinterest and the world of air frying and baking in what is the equivalent of a convection oven which distributes the heat all around and through the food. One Tablespoon of different oils is placed in the bottom tray or no oil at all if preferred. It is that tiny bit of oil that gives the food a hint of fried taste without any greasiness at all. Cleanup is great and this “diamond” of appliances sits on the counter ready to make the simple and easy meals.

I cannot tell you all of the dishes I have made but I am listing a link to my Pinterest board for Power Air Fryer Oven Recipes. These are not mine and I will try to write some of mine and post from time to time but try some of the recipes and comment on my blog so we can share the fun and great taste using this idea of “non-fried foods that will make any Southerner proud”.


Here is my link to my Pinterest board:



Cajun Catfish Power Air Fryer Oven Style

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One of my favs and we don’t miss the fried fish. Enjoy the new world of “frying” by not frying food.

For more info on Power Air Fryer Oven check them out at:

Power Air Fryer Oven Ad

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Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 7.42.18 AMScreen Shot 2018-09-26 at 7.41.23 AM

Check out this link to find out more how you can begin to enjoy this way of frying, baking, dehydrating, and more:


(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.



SELF PROMOTING, A GOOD THING OR NOT? Today on the blog we discuss promoting ourselves and does it serve a good purpose or is it detrimental. You get to decide and please feel free to give feedback on how promotion of your services and/or products have enhanced or decimated your efforts. Please join me on the blog for this discussion. #blog #amwriting #selfpromotion #socialmedia #life #selfesteem


SELF PROMOTING, A GOOD THING OR NOT? I have been taking breaks from a lot of social media and promoting the blog and especially my two novels and it has inspired this post. Imagine that? Sometimes the seemingly smallest thought can promote a deeper insight. How do we feel about self promoting? Do we see it as beneficial or demeaning? Today let’s look at the pros and cons. Please feel free to comment on your feelings about this subject and if you are a blogger, writer, artist, specialist, promoter, etc., please add your expertise in the comment section.

Here is an article with emphasis on the pros of “promoting” instead of using the word “self-promoting”:


01/06/2015 09:45 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Why Self-Promotion Isn’t a Dirty Word

Throughout my career one thing that has always struck me is how the idea of putting one’s self forward can be incredibly uncomfortable and confronting for many people. Calling one’s self an expert can make people squirm in their seat as they don’t want to be seen as having ‘tickets on themselves’.

Whether it’s a fear of putting yourself forward or not wanting to be seen as bragging, the idea that promoting yourself is a bad thing is at odds with the reality that people are looking for thought leaders and role models.

I genuinely believe the world would be a better place if more people shared their ideas, opinions and expertise. But this requires more people to step forward and share their stories with the purpose of helping others.

I myself have struggled to own the ‘word’ expert. I’ve asked myself at various times, “Do I really know more about the next person when it comes to PR and social media? Do I know enough to really be an expert?”


But there came a point in 2010 when I was asked to deliver a presentation to over 100 people when I confronted these thoughts. As I stood on the stage gathering my courage to speak I realised, “Who was I not to share my hard won knowledge and experience? Who was I not to have a voice? How could I not share what I knew and help those people in front of me?”

We need to rethink the concepts of self-promotion, thought leadership and expert. What I learnt was putting yourself forward isn’t actually about you, it’s about the people you could potentially reach and help in some way. How can this be a bad thing?

Here’s my advice for anyone who is ready to share their expertise:

‘Be’ the expert
Shake off those self-limiting beliefs like: Do I know enough? Do I know more than the next person? Am I really an expert? We all have stories, experiences and knowledge that will help others in some way. We have all experienced situations through our lives that should be shared because others will benefit from it.


Find your stories
When you start telling your stories and sharing your expertise to help people and you will be amazed with the emotional connection that you start building with people. Your stores can be personal stories, professional stories or stories that let people know who you are, what you do and what you stand for.


Tell the world 
PR and social media are great vehicles for telling your story and reaching out to people, like your customers. They can be used to build your profile, reputation and credibility. When you are well recognised as an expert in your field, your target audience, key organisations and the media take notice of you. Naturally this can lead to more sales, more paid speaking opportunities, more referrals and opportunities you never even dreamed of start falling into your lap.

About the author
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. www.unknowntoexpert.com

Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business.www.cpcommunications.com.au

Follow Catriona:
Twitter: @catrionapollard
Facebook: www.facebook.com/catrionapollard
Blogs: www.catrionapollard.com | www.unknowntoexpert.com/blog                             


Here is a checklist to choose if self promoting is a pro or con for you:

  • Do I consider this promotion a step toward fulfilling my dream?
  • Am I doing this to expand or create a market for my services and/or products?
  • By creating a promotion am I generating sales or expansion of my business?
  • Is this promotion a means to satisfy my ego or is it a simple sales opportunity?
  • If I don’t promote my product and/or services, how will the public know about me?
  • By promoting myself, can I use the publicity to expand or offer services for a good cause?
  • Do I appreciate talent of other people and do I assist in their promotions/goodwill?
  • Do I only consider my products as a priority and never share ideas with others wanting to learn?

As a writer, I have learned so much from others who have led the way of promotion, social media networking, and book signing events. I never profess to be an expert in any of these fields so I depend on researching, listening and reading. I have considered if I should do more in the promotion and exposure of my writings and books. What I do know is I am happiest when I am writing and not promoting, but when someone buys one of my books I experience a jubilant feeling. When you comment and/or like the blog, I get excited to see what you have to say.  I have some dear friends who promote writers and they believe strongly in networking and it has paid off successfully for them and those they promote. Hmm??? Maybe we can promote ourselves through networking by helping others and them helping us in return. It is worth trying, right?

A Mistress, A Wife print.jpg


In closing, I would like to thank everyone who has purchased one or both of my books and are looking forward to the one I am writing at the moment. If you have supported my blog, I thank you and if you have shared a quote from me, I love it. This is the kind of promotion I love the best. Now, in the arena of promotion I am including the links to my first two novels on sale on Amazon. If you like romance with more twists in the plot than a winding country road, and you get into characters who you will fall in love with, have strong feelings about their behavior, and the unexpected life happenings, try them on for size. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LIVING YOUR DREAMS AND PROMOTING YOUR EFFORTS AND OTHERS AT THE SAME TIME.

Arline Miller writing Reflections of Love Series



(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material will be sourced to original location by links if known for credit references.


LET’S BAKE A LIFE CAKE is inspired from a previous post BAKING A LIFE CAKE from 2015 on my blog but a good friend of mine are baking cakes like the one in the photo below to raise money for her granddaughters and another friend baking for her little dancers and it struck me how important this message is to realize we bake our life cakes every day. So, how is your baking skills? Life is waiting so fire up the oven.
TODAY THE WORDS are BAKING A LIFE CAKE. I have been seeing a lot of luscious cakes baked for a silent auction and it gave me some inspiration on how life can mimic baking a cake. I posted the following message on FB last night and felt I should share it as a blog message.


My night’s thought: Life is like baking a cake. First you have to gather a lot of ingredients (childhood, school, work, marriage, children, etc.) some of which are sweet and others which are sour by themselves.  It takes a lot of mixing everything and even cracking some shells with sifting to make things smoother. Some separation has to be done (college, military, volunteer work, training) by putting the layers into individual pans. Then life gets hot and trials and opening doors and shutting them while turning the heat up. Once the heat is off and a cooling down period is completed (arguments, compromise, sorting out problems, overcoming life’s difficult moments) it is time to put the cake together by layering them (remembering good times and bad times in memories and pictures of great events and sad losses) and then comes the icing, the sweetest part by seeing your children and grandchildren  who want to sit next to you and say I love you and you look at the finished cake of life with your spouse and you both smile that special smile of love and you think we baked a pretty doggone good cake this life. Sweet dreams of life my friends…Sending a dab of frosting to give you sweet thoughts. 
Life can give you a layering of mixed up layers.
This may not be a visual for all of you but to me, it gives me a good picture of how we layer our lives and how our lives are mixed together and sometimes certain separations occur. Some of life’s ingredients are pretty sour if tasted individually but blended together, life becomes sweeter and more meaningful. We are bakers of our own destiny but we find ourselves using the trial and error method. How many of you have looked at a recipe and thought I am not sure if I want to use a certain ingredient and you choose to substitute something else in its place. Unfortunately, the substitute can cause the recipe to fail and you have to start all over but you usually learn from your mistakes. What about the times when you see a recipe contains an ingredient you love and your thinking evolves into “what if I add a little more, well maybe a little more, etc.” and you end up with a mess? Haven’t we all been guilty of overindulging? They make diets because we tend to add more and more when we should be satisfied to keep the original amount intact.
Here is some additional advice from Chef José Andrés in a commencement speech:

Life Advice from a Chef: Don’t Follow a Recipe

When Chef José Andrés took the stage to address the graduates of George Washington University at their commencement May 18, even he seemed surprised to have been the one chosen for the honor. “Wow,” Chef José said after the crowd had offered its perfunctory applause. But after humbly introducing himself — “My name is José Andrés and I am a cook” — the Spanish-born chef, who made his name and popularized small plates at restaurants like Jaleo, in Washington, D.C., gave a speech that built an instant buzz in the food world and beyond.

José’s speech, which began with a funny video showing some of his more famous pals (Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson, Al Roker, Eric Holder and others) turning down the gig, was as inspiring as it was amusing.

It included advice like: “There will always be critics and naysayers telling you what you cannot do, that it is impossible. There will always be more people bringing you down than lifting you up. It seems that way sometimes. But let me tell you: Get a cocktail shaker (if you are over 21). Add your heart, your soul, your brain, your instinct and shake it hard. Serve it straight up, but let me give you a secret ingredient. Add a dash of the criticism on top because those naysayers play an important role too. They motivate you to rise above, to challenge yourself, to prove them wrong.”

Chef José continued to say, “What could you do when life takes an unexpected turn? Friends, my advice: Don’t follow a recipe. Funny coming from a cook, no? When we go by the book, we lose our ability to adapt, to be creative. Sometimes you will find yourself without an ingredient or two. It will seem like everything is going wrong. If things don’t go as expected, make the unexpected work in your favor. Change the name of the dish.”

The grads and their guests seemed to devour every word of José’s advice, and when he wrapped things up, 25 minutes later, they stood and cheered for the humble chef who advised them to work toward making an impact on the world.

You can watch José’s entire speech here.

Now for the deeper thought……We have our recipe, God’s word, and the recipe uses only pure ingredients but it has helpful hints on how to fix our mistakes or proper substitutes if we find ourselves lacking a certain ingredient. When our recipes fail because of our human weakness; God offers us a second chance and hopes we learn from our mistakes or bad ingredients. We can layer our lives with love, integrity, charity, forgiveness, compassion, and loyalty. Then we have the icing of happiness to top off our cake of life. Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the fullest by baking the best cake of life using God’s directions. Life will be yummy!


Take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what shall happen to the child.”
(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller Property with all rights and permissions reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.


TODAY THE WORD is TRANQUILITY. After a combination of excitement, stressful, and emotional events in the world, we need a break from the sensitive energy. Let’s reflect on a little tranquility to erase the emotional and stressful divisiveness of our country. When you look at this picture, it has to project a feeling of tranquil surroundings and peace. We need to find a place that is tranquil and let the difficult feelings disappear.
Once tranquility is reached, peace takes over the mind and we relax. What can a period of tranquility do to enhance our lives? Take a few seconds and stare at the picture and think how if you were sitting on a deck or chair in this environment, what sounds would you hear? What layers of nature would you observe while resting and taking in the view? See, even that few seconds has already affected your breathing by slowing it down. Peaceful, tranquil surroundings are a necessity and not a luxury in our lives. We need to take the time to “smell the roses” and allow our attitudes, demeanor, and character to be as enticing as the roses.
Each of us have our methods of meditation, worship, pondering time, and other means of tranquil times. The way we relax is unique to ourselves and I find reading the scriptures, positive quotes, motivational writings, and even sitting quietly without too much thought. I wrote this thought this morning and thought I would share it with you.
Morning Thought: I was deep in prayer yesterday and it seems to me more and more people are in need of prayer. Then the realization of life became more evident. A lot of my friends and family are now in the ages when health issues become evident and in requirement of treatment and care. While this thought was going through my head and prayers going through my heart, I thought how does anyone make it through life without God’s mercy? It seems like it would be similar to jumping out of a plane without a parachute; rock climbing without a tie off (anchor), sailing without an anchor; and other means of protection and/or preventive equipment for safety. I have heard skeptics and non believers justify when it seems prayers go unanswered. What they don’t understand it is that rock of God that allows us to hold on when the plan of life is not understandable. It is that peace and comfort when we do face adversity. This morning as I was sipping my coffee, I thought of God’s love as a giant cup of warm, soothing cup of coffee or tea. That cup of coffee may not take away the seriousness of the day, all of the conflicts that may come our way, and even dealing with losses of friends and loved ones but it just seems to relax and comfort us. Today and everyday, pray for all of us, in good times and bad times, thanks and pleas, and gratitude for the blessings we receive. Thank You God for soothing our souls and get us ready for this day You have blessed us with to praise You. (Arline Miller, blogger)
I found an article containing 14 tips for Tranquility:

14 Tips for Tranquility


We all know that life can be difficult, but the recipe for peace and tranquillity is really at our fingertips.

Here’s how:

1. Dont worry about your self-image. We all have an image of ourselves, how we think we appear to others. It’s usually wrong because we just don’t know what other people think about us, and so it’s not worth worrying about. You are you, and others have to like you or not. If you have a fault, try to improve it, but don’t worry about your image.

2. Give up trying to find yourself. A lot of people say, ‘I need time to find myself, to work out who I am.’ This is one way to give yourself a neurosis because there’s nothing to find. You have your capabilities; you may be a cook or a chemist or a charity worker and nothing can take that away. Rest on that.

3. Celebrate your uniqueness. Every human being is different, unique. Nobody has quite the same take on things as you do. This is a marvellous feeling to enjoy. At the same time we have to understand that others have a different take too. It means we’re not necessarily right, and it makes us more tolerant.

4. Create an environment of peace in your life. People can be happy even though their life is hard and uncomfortable, but most of us need an environment of peace and calm. One of the important building blocks is treating others with kindness and generosity. People will generally reciprocate kindness and you have created a space of warmth and calm. There’s a big happiness dividend here for everyone.

5. Stay aware of what generosity really is. If your heart isn’t in what you give away, it isn’t actually giving. Sending old clothes to the charity shop is a good thing to do, but it’s really only getting rid of junk. Give away something useful to you.

6.   Live now! Don’t put it off until tomorrow. We don’t know what tomorrow will be like. The past is a memory – so there’s no point in living there.  The future is a hope and a dream which is pleasant to contemplate, but don’t count on it. Now is all we have.

7.  Be aware of this moment in your life. What’s happening? What are you doing? Are you enjoying? It doesn’t have to be a big moment like a graduation ceremony or winning a lottery prize. Life is mostly small moments like washing the dishes or riding the subway, or having coffee with a friend. Be there and feel alive! Life is too precious to be wasted drifting along half-awake.

8.  Go slowly. Sure, life can be fast and furious, but not all the time. Put the brakes on. Slow down. Think and feel what you’re doing. Actually live now instead of having your mind on the rush for the next thing.

9. Be sociable. You can’t attain real peace and calm by shutting yourself away. All you get is quietness. Mix with others and appreciate their uniqueness. Accept them for what they are, and use kindness as a tool to achieve a peace and calm that is rich with the lives of others.

10. Be ready to cope with change and unpredictability. Nobody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. Life is a very uncertain business. That’s the way it is. Reality. We have to build this into our thinking, whether it’s missing the train, being let down by a friend or loss of a loved one. It’s not  personal, you haven’t been singled out. It’s just bad luck. You can have good luck too!

11. Remember that anger doesnt work as a solution to your problems.Anger related feelings are our default setting as soon as we are crossed. That’s natural. But anger is a virus that poisons us. It makes us feel bad. It’s a burden we don’t need to accept. And when did shouting get you anywhere?

12. Loosen some of your attachments. We’re attached to all sorts of things, our family, our friends, our property, our job, our investments. The pain comes when the kids don’t want to go on vacation with us any more, when our friends aren’t as helpful as they could be, when we lose our property or our job. This hurts.  Nothing is absolutely guaranteed. If we can detach ourselves a little from events around us, if we don’t hold so tight, we can be happier.

13. Face life with a spirit of acceptance. It doesn’t mean you don’t struggle to change things you can change. But some things can’t be changed like the loss of a friend or your employer going broke. We need to accept and tolerate happenings that can’t be changed, like death of a friend. If we can cultivate an attitude of acceptance and detachment, we can move on.

14. Get engaged in life in a meaningful way. So what’s meaningful? I can’t tell you that. You have to decide what is meaningful to you. But it doesn’t have to be something epoch-making or important in the community. Growing flowers or climbing mountains or doing the housework are all meaningful. But an activity isn’t meaningful if you’re doing it half-heartedly. If you believe what you’re doing is meaningful, you’re going to enjoy it.


Gil Hogg is the author of The Happy Humanist and Teaching Yourself Tranquillity. He is also a novelist. Check out his website www.gilhogg.co.uk

Now for the deeper thought……Tranquility should accompany our moments of meditation and/or devotional time. We have to separate ourselves from the crowd and allow our minds and souls to become as one with God. I am not talking about our church time, but our private time to talk to God, pray for His Grace, ask forgiveness for any wrongs, and thank Him for our blessings. Reading during this time brings issues and concerns to the forefront and we can ask for help in these things if we need help. Reading can be inspirational and can prepare us for the excitement of life. All in all, the best tranquility can be a simple room, a chair, or a spot in the grass to reflect on the goodness of life. Today, try to make a little time for tranquility and your life will look more peaceful.  (Photo courtesy of Missy Smith Haas)
Ecclesiastes 4:6
Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.
(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved with third party material sourced to original location if known.
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