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Laugh, and the World Laughs with You

Child laughingHappy Monday! Today I want to share the poem Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Ella wrote this poem after an experience she had while traveling to an inaugural ball for the Governor of Wisconsin. On her way to the celebration, there was a young woman dressed in black sitting across the aisle from her. The woman was crying. Miss Wheeler sat next to her and sought to comfort her for the rest of the journey. When they arrived, the poet was so depressed that she could barely attend the scheduled festivities. As she looked at her own radiant face in the mirror, she suddenly recalled the sorrowful widow. It was at that moment that she wrote the opening lines of “Solitude”.

It may sound like a depressing story for a “Motivated Monday” post but it is significant in that it teaches us that when we work to be positive and have our life in order, the world will be there to support us.…

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Motivated Monday – The Guy in the Glass

Guy in the Glass

What do you tell yourself at the end of the day when you look in the mirror? Today I would like to share the poem, “The Guy in the Glass” by Dale Wimbrow. This poem is a wonderful reminder that no matter what we accomplish during the day, we will have to answer to one person before going to bed. Fame and praise from others are nice but at the end of the day we look at ourselves in the mirror and we know what type of person we have really been. Did we step on others in order to get our way? Did we cut corners, lie, or cheat to make a dollar? Did we ignore the needs of others in our search for riches?…

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Motivated Monday – What Constitutes Success

Success Chalkboard

     In 1905 a Boston magazine held a contest asking people to send in an essay about what constitutes success. A Kansas housewife named Bessie Stanley heard about the contest and submitted her essay. To her surprise she won the contest and the $250 prize that came with it. Later her essay was converted into a poem and then repeatedly misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson or Robert Louis Stevenson.

     Her simple definitions of the attributes of a successful person are a great reminder to all of us that success comes in many forms and in an infinite number of areas of life. Find something to improve on every day and you will find success!



He has achieved success who has lived well,
laughed often and loved much;
who has gained the respect of intelligent men
and the love of little children;
who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
who has left the world better than he found it,
whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;
who has always looked for the best in others
and given them the best he had;
whose life was an inspiration;
whose memory a benediction.

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Motivated Monday – The Need for Adversity (Good Timber)

Frozen Forest looking up

Happy Monday! This weekend I was reminded of this wonderful poem about the necessity for adversity in life. Without opposition, obstacles and struggles, we would grow on the outside but not develop the inner strength needed for happiness and success. Remember, “good timber does not grow with ease.” Enjoy!



Good Timber

The tree that never had to fightOld Oak Tree at Winter Sunset
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.…

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Motivated Monday – The Story of Ulysses, Hero of Greece

Odysseus 2Have you ever thought to yourself that it is too late to start something new? Do you ever think you are told old to do something you’ve always dreamed of or start a new adventure? I am excited today because I get to share another one of my favorite poems.

Today I am going to share excerpts from the poem, Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Odysseus 3So here’s the background story: Odysseus (whose name is Ulysses in Latin) was one of the heroes of the Trojan War. When returning to his home island of Ithaca, he does some stuff to really tick off Poseidon, the Greek God of the sea. Poseidon causes Odysseus and his ship to lose their way and they have to pass through a number of epic battles against mythical creatures in order to return to their homeland.…

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Motivated Monday – Invictus

Monday MotivationGood morning and happy Monday! It’s the best day of the week to get to work on those goals!

This week I wanted to share one of my favorite poems of all time, “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. I first encountered this poem in high school and it instantly became one of my favorite things to read during the tough times of life.

Henley wrote this poem not long after having his left leg amputated due to tuberculosis of the bone. He had made the decision that he would not let this devastating trial control his life. He became involved with other writers and poets in England and was so well respected that Robert Louis Stevenson based the one-legged pirate Long John Silver in Treasure Island off of him.…

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Motivated Monday – Hoe to the End of the Row

Hoeing the Row

Today’s Motivated Monday poem is all about work and giving a little bit more effort than what is required. In his book 212 Degrees, Mac Anderson talks about how at 211 degrees, water is very hot but at 212 degrees water boils and makes steam…and steam can power a locomotive.

Most times the difference between good and great is just a little extra effort. The difference between first and second place may be less than a second. So when you read this poem, think about how that extra effort can translate into bigger success.



Hoe to the End of the Row!

Bill Brown made a million,
Bill Brown, think of that.
That boy you remember,
As poor as a rat.

He hoed for the neighbors,
Did jobs by the day.…

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Motivated Monday! – Playing the Game

Monday MotivationIt’s Monday again! Let’s start the week off right with this poem from an unknown author about the game of life. This poem in particular talks about daring greatly and doing more than just talking, we have to start doing.

Remember to write down your goals for this week today. It is amazing how much more you can get done with written goals! Make your game plan and then get in the game!


Playing The Game
Author Unknown

Life is a game with a glorious prize,
If we can only play it right.

It is give and take, build and break,
And often it ends in a fight;

But he surely wins who honestly tries
(Regardless of wealth or fame),

He can never despair who plays it fair
How are you playing the game?…

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Motivated Monday – The Victor

Monday MotivationContinuing in our Motivated Monday series comes this poem from Walter D. Wintle. This is a great poem about the power of your thoughts and how they affect the level of success you will reach on a daily basis.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right!”

Enjoy the poem and make Monday the best day of the week!




The Victor
by Walter Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will.
It’s all in the state of mind.…

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Motivated Monday – The World Is Against Me

Monday MotivationMonday is my favorite day. It is the start of a new week and you get to make it whatever you want. You’ve had time over the weekend to relax and digest what you did the previous week and then decide how you can improve the next one. It is like New Year’s Day that comes every week.

Many people hate Mondays because they have to head back to work after a fun weekend. I don’t blame them. But to try and help, I decided to start a series of posts called “Motivation Mondays.” Every Monday I will post a motivational poem or quote from some of my favorite authors in history, hoping that it will help give someone out there a little boost of motivation for the day.…

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