In my experience, I’ve noticed that the stories that touch people’s lives always seem to have something about them that makes us feel a strong emotion. Whether it’s nostalgia or joy that we experience, we often feel inspired or motivated to do something different in our lives, all because of a story.
I’ve always wanted to be able to share the stories that changed my life with as many people as I could. So several years ago, I started Simple Truths, and I’ve collected and published these stories to share with all of you.
I want to share a story that touched my life—it still gives me goose bumps when I read it.
Love and Be Loved
A story featured in Things That Grab Your Heart and Won’t Let Go.
I recently had dinner with someone who told me that one of his best friends had been killed in a private plane crash. Something happened at the service that he’ll never forget:At the memorial service, his friend’s wife walked to the podium to speak to the gathering. She said a friend had asked her the best memory she had of their life together. At the moment, she had been too grief-stricken to answer, but she thought about it since and wanted to answer the question. They were in their late forties when he died, and she began talking about a time in their lives almost twenty years earlier. She had quit her job to obtain her master’s degree, and her husband never wavered in his support. He held down his own job and also did the cooking, cleaning, and other household chores while she studied for her degree. One time, they both stayed up all night. She was finishing her thesis and he was preparing for an important business meeting. That morning, she walked out on their loft, looked at him over the railing, and just thought about how much she loved him. She knew how important this meeting was to his career, and she was feeling guilty that she didn’t even have time to make his breakfast. He grabbed his briefcase and hurried out. She heard the garage door open and close, but much to her surprise, she heard it open again about thirty seconds later. From above, she watched her husband dash into the house and walk over to the neglected coffee table. Tracing his finger through the dust, he wrote the words “I love you.” Then he raced back to his car. The new widow then looked out at her audience and said, “John and I had a wonderful life together. We have been around the world several times; we’ve had everything money can buy…but nothing comes close to that moment.” Our lives move with lightning speed. It feels like yesterday that I graduated from college…and now forty years have passed. Although I’m very proud of my business accomplishments, in the end, my life comes back to loving and being loved.
This story about a husband’s random act of love always reminds me that the smallest things can make the biggest difference to those around you. It reminds me to do little things for the people I love to show them how much they mean to me.
I hope this story inspires you to love and be loved. What are some life changing stories you know? I can’t wait to hear them.
To Life and Love,
Simple Truths Founder
For a compilation of the best stories from Simple Truths, check out Things That Grab Your Heart and Won’t Let Go
At one time or another, we’ve all heard someone say, “Just use common sense!” But you probably haven’t heard of using uncommon sense. Using uncommon sense can take you from average to incredible in all areas of your life.
Here’s a comparison of common sense and uncommon sense.
What is common sense?
Common sense is loosely defined as a general set of principles that society has agreed is the “right” or conventional way to do something. These sayings and thoughts have become so ingrained in society over the years that we mostly don’t even have to think about it. Using your common sense becomes a routine. Basically, common sense teaches us to think like this: This is the right way to do something because we’ve always done it that way, and it’s just how things are.
And while using common sense is important, it’s not always the right way to look at the world. Sometimes you need to use uncommon sense.
So what’s uncommon sense?
While common sense is considered conventional wisdom, uncommon sense is a re-examination of that conventional wisdom.
In our business life and personal life, following common sense is usually the safe way to go. But, the people who are really making a difference in the world are usually the people who try something new. People that may go against something that may go against what conventional wisdom says is the “right” way to do something.
Unconventional thinking is the reason we have the ability to fly thousands of feet above the ground. Can you imagine a world without airplanes? The Wright brothers are a real-world example of people who went against conventional wisdom and completely changed the world. Common sense says that humans can’t possibly fly, but the Wright brothers challenged that. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have modern air travel.
Uncommon sense is not about throwing common sense totally out the window. Tapping into our uncommon sense allows us to take a deeper look at things we often take for granted. It fights against the thought or perspective: Well, it’s just the way things are.
Dr. Nido Qubein, president of High Point University and author of Uncommon Sense: The 10 Principles to Transform Your Work and Life, explains that uncommon sense is all about taking a critical approach to life.
Here are some of the Dr. Qubein’s examples of uncommon sense:
- Productive failure is better than unproductive success
- Avoid the urgent; focus on the important
- Manage your life, not just your time
- Don’t seek improvement; seek excellence
So yes, sometimes you might get reminded to use your common sense, but even more importantly, you should remind yourself to use your uncommon sense. It just might change your life.
Want to learn more about uncommon sense? Check out Check out Uncommon Sense to learn the 10 principles to transform your work and life.
Books by Dr. Nido Qubein
Quick! Think of a leader. Who comes to mind? A boss at work, a president, a coach you had in high school, a parent or sibling; leadership emerges in all areas of our lives.
The leadership you experience throughout your life often shapes you. The leadership qualities we admire in others are the same qualities we try to portray and build on in our own lives. No one is born a leader; it takes work. And good leaders are always working to improve themselves.
But what qualities make someone a great leader? We thought about some of the great leaders we know, and here are some qualities that they all have in common:
Great Leaders Show Passion
“To love what you do and feel that it matters…how could anything be more fun?” –Katherine Graham
Passion is a very important part of leadership, and passion isn’t something we can fake. When you love what you do, it shows through your actions, which helps inspire those around you. Plus it’s always more rewarding (and more fun!) to do something that matters to you. If you’re having fun and feel like you’re making a difference, other people in your life will be inspired to follow in your footsteps. Great leaders know this—whether it’s volunteering once a week at a soup kitchen or leading a country through the Great Depression, passion always inspires others to act.
Great Leaders Stay Focused on Priorities
Great leaders help others stay focused on their goals in part by staying focused themselves. In all areas of life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out by all the little things and lose sight of the big picture. Great leaders know how to keep everyone focused by keeping priorities top of mind and adjusting as new things pop up. If we always focused on every small issue, we wouldn’t have enough time to spend on the important things. Great leaders know when to let the little things go to focus on the bigger issues.
Great Leaders Stay Optimistic and Always Persevere
Life isn’t perfect. There’s always going to be something that gets in the way or throws you off course. But great leaders know how to stay positive and keep everyone on track, even when problems arise. Great leaders don’t give up, and they don’t let others give up either.
Great Leaders Build Trust and Trust Others
Trust is one of the most important qualities in life and leadership. Without trust, leaders can’t inspire others to follow them or to learn from them. Trust doesn’t happen overnight, and great leaders know how to prove their trustworthiness.
Another important part of trust is being able to trust others. Great leaders surround themselves with people they can count on. We can’t do everything ourselves, so we need to trust others to take care of things. At work, that might be trusting a coworker to meet their deadlines on a project. At home, it might be trusting your family to have your back when you try something new.
Building trust and learning to trust others shows that you’re on the same team and are all working for the same goal. Without trust, there are no followers, and without followers, there are no leaders.
A lot of different things make up great leaders, and these are just some qualities that we’ve noticed in leaders we know. Think about the great leaders you know. Do they have these traits? What other leadership qualities do they have? Share your ideas on what makes a great leader in the comments!
Want to learn more about leadership skills? Check out all of our leadership books!
It’s easy to be grateful for the big moments in your life, but in the day-to-day craziness, sometimes we forget to be grateful for all of the people and the little things in life that make us happy. Plus expressing your gratitude can help you feel less stress and more happiness.
It’s always great to remember all the good things in your life, so here are 4 tips for finding more gratitude:
1. Be thankful for what DIDN’T happen.
No matter how bad things are, they could almost always be worse. Start finding gratitude for what could have happened but didn’t. You may not be thankful for everything in your life, but you can always be thankful for something.
Find more tips like this in Learning to Dance in the Rain by Mac Anderson and BJ Gallagher.
2. Don’t hold on to your anger or hurt.
Though you may not realize it, you are always choosing between two ways of perceiving: Looking to the world for reasons to be upset, or looking in your heart for reasons to be happy. You can’t be upset and grateful at the same time, and life is too short to look for reasons to be upset. Try to remember that patience and tolerance bring you happiness, while anger and hatred bring you suffering.
Find more tips like this in Smile for No Good Reason by Dr. Lee Jampolsky.
3. Savor life’s little moments.
Italian poet and novelist Cesare Pavese once said, “We do not remember days; we remember moments.” At today’s hectic pace, however, we often forget to live in the moment, to just be. And by just being, by just soaking up a beautiful moment, we can find some of life’s greatest pleasures.
Find more tips like this in The Road to Happiness by Mac Anderson and BJ Gallagher.
4. Express your gratitude by living it.
Expressing gratitude brings even more things to be grateful for. No matter what’s going on around you, look for things to appreciate, and then express your appreciation. You don’t spread gratitude by preaching or scolding—you spread it by living it. Every moment. Every hour. Every day. John F. Kennedy said it best, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Find more tips like this in Learning to Dance in the Rain by Mac Anderson and BJ Gallagher.
Finding something to be grateful for and expressing your gratitude helps you find more happiness in your life (and you can spread that happiness and attitude of gratitude on to others). So show your friends and family how much you appreciate them, and show your appreciation for life’s perfect little moments.
For even more tips for and reminders about having an attitude of gratitude, check out our gratitude books.
We can all choose to live a less stressful life. But how do we make the right choices to get rid of stress? Follow these 5 tips to strip away your stress so you can live life blissfully!
1. Slow down to go faster.
By slowing down we can take time to discover our purpose and choose to fully live it each and every day…Making a move to the right hand lane may make you think things and life are going to pass you by. Yet, choosing to slow down lets us enjoy the road along the way, it can supercharge us to reach our ultimate destination.
This stress-relief tip is from Stress Is a Choice by David Zerfoss.
2. Set clear goals.
When you decide upon a goal, you override your failure mechanism and change the direction of your life. You go from being a rudder, drifting with the tide, to becoming a ship with a rudder, a compass and a clear destination, sailing straight toward your destination.
This stress-relief tip is from The Power of Discipline by Brian Tracy.
3. Schedule your priorities.
Life can become very full very fast. If we first block off time for who and what is most important in our lives, it can actually free us up to really focus on all the rest.
This stress-relief tip is from Stress is a Choice by David Zerfoss.
4. Squeeze the most out of your day.
Write down the six most important things you need to accomplish. Not only will you start tomorrow ready to go, but subconsciously, you’ll also be working on those six projects while you sleep.
This stress-relief tip is from Stuck on Stop by Vicki Hitzges.
5. Visualize yourself as you want to be.
There is a special way that you can accelerate your progress toward becoming the highly productive, effective, efficient person that you want to be. It consists of your thinking continually about the rewards and benefits of being an action-oriented, fast-moving, focused person. See yourself as the kind of person who gets important jobs done quickly and well on a consistent basis.
This stress-relief tip is from Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy.
Sometimes stress is unavoidable, but remember that we can choose to have less stress. Have great tips for stress relief? Share ‘em in the comments! You can also find more tips on our Stress Relief board on Pinterest.
All of these tips are featured in our most popular books on personal development and stress management. For more tips on how to stress less, check out our personal development books.