What Do You Live For? | Inspirational Podcasts

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of wearable inspiration for a better world. Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from New Though Common Sense And What Life Means to Me by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, published in 1908…

Do you ever stop and ask yourself for what you are living? Is it for “success” in some undertaking? Then what are you doing to produce success? No matter how hard you may be working, unless you are finding pleasure and pride in your work, and doing it with cheerfulness, you are not moving forward toward real success.

One month of such application of your powers will achieve more for you than a year of grumbling, dogged work, done with unwillingness and dislike of the task. Whatever you are doing, reason yourself into a love of your labor, until you can leave it for something more agreeable.

One excellent way to reason along these lines is to see that every day given to an unpleasant task is bringing it nearer its completion, when you then can abandon it.

And even if it seems to you that such an end can never be attained (that the work you have in hand is endless), remember that thought is the greatest miracle worker; and that thought is energy, and that by continual determination (coupled with continual aspiration and effort), you can bring any change you desire into your life.

But no good results can be achieved by angry, purposeless rebellion or sullen discontent, or work done with hatred and disgust, however well done.

Are you living for happiness? Well, then, what are you doing to produce happiness? Are you dressing beyond your means; taking more “days off” than you can afford; buying more things than you need or can use?

Are you eating and drinking solely for the pleasure of the palate? And for the enjoyment of the moment? And with no thought of what nourishes or what clogs the system and produces disease?

Perhaps you say it takes all your strength and time to provide for the mere “necessities of life,” and you are unhappy because of this fact. But what are the necessities of life?

Were you to be cast on a desert island, with plenty of good water, grains and fruit, honey and nuts, you would be surprised to find how little food it takes to supply the body with nourishment and to sustain good health.

I know. I know. We do not care to live as we would if obliged to dwell upon a desert island; but that does not prove the luxuries in which we indulge are “life’s necessities.”

So, in thinking over your life and its hardships and obligations, do not put the blame on “life’s necessities” when you find you are using all of your time and money and effort to merely live.

You are really exhausting yourself to follow standards set by others. This can never produce happiness. If you wear yourself out in the struggle to buy a new car, and to sustain one, because your neighbors have this luxury, and not because your income and position make a new car a suitable possession, you will never reach happiness.

Happiness in material things comes only in having what we really need, when we really need it, and when we can really afford it. Happiness comes from within the mind, never from without. That is an old, old statement, but it is eternally true…..

Read The Entire Essay in Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons

50 Inspirational Life Lessons