My First Reading List

reading list Jonathan Hilton
My Reading List

A reading list if quite important. Over my recent history, I have been on a mission of learning, a quest to improve myself and to understand why life works the way that it does.  I wish that I knew the wisest man in the world, who could simply relay all of the vital information I need to know to me.  Unfortunately, I don’t think that person exists, and I don’t think that the experience would be quite as vital or memorable as it has been.  I have traveled many miles in the distance of understanding and followed many paths by using only my mind and my reading list.  The vehicle which has allowed me to do this has been the gift of literacy and the knowledge imparted to me from the wisest people who have ever thought thoughts.  I wanted to compile a list of all of the books I have read that have contributed to my journey of self discovery.  So that if you are looking for knowledge you will find out if you need to read these books or not.

Top 10 John Wooden Quotes

John Wooden Quotes
Coach Wooden Teaches Lew Alcindor

I find  former UCLA Coach John Wooden quotes particularly inspiring and true.  For teamwork, hard work, leadership, faith or success, you can’t go wrong with looking for some advice from the late, great John Wooden.   First below you will find a top ten list that was released in the Christian Science Monitor of their favorite John Wooden quotes.

Without further ado my top 10 John Wooden Quotes…

10. Failure is not fatal but failure to change might be.

9. Ability is a poor man’s wealth.

Improving Your Mind

a-mind-is-a-terrrible-thing-to-waste-reallyEach of us is given a gift at birth called our mind. We spend our lives trying to develop it (or not) and skills that help allow us to experience success in many different phases of life. As we learn it all from the rudimentary activities of function to the most complex ideas, our mind helps us develop goals and make the plans that allow us to achieve them.  Our brain is our best friend and most valuable tool. It is designed to learn and grow and has a nearly limitless capacity to accomplish nearly anything.  There are some simple things that we can do to enhance the process and avoid destroying the potential that our valuable brain possesses. Improving your mind is a full-time job.

My Worst Enemy

My own worst enemyMy own worst enemy is almost always in my own mind, that voice that tells me I can’t, shouldn’t or couldn’t possibly achieve what I would like to do. This is an outdated survival mechanism left over from childhood it once served a purpose but now only limits my potential.  As I grow older the voice of criticism that I hear and entertain works to destroy my confidence, lower my self-esteem and significantly limit what I am capable of achieving.  it is time to Get rid of that voice or at the least, pay very little attention to what it says. Here are a few of my favorite methods for limiting or eliminating my own worst enemy and learning to listen to positive  self-talk.

Losing Your Phone, Find a Connection

133747The past week has been an eye opening experience for me as I was losing my phone but finding my connection. I did not have access to a phone. As I waited for my phone to be replaced, I had several days where I had no access to other people as I moved about my day. But the bright side was that nobody had access to me either. It was a unique experience that really highlighted our addiction (or at least my addiction) to personalized technology. The process has crept into all parts of our lives and now we scroll around through the mindless posts of Facebook in all of our “down” moments. Life has changed, and with the focus so much on technological devices, I am afraid that many of us are losing our connection to ourselves.

Life Lessons

What Life Lessons have YOU learned Recently?

life lessonsOne of the great things about life is that no matter what you are doing, there is always an opportunity to learn new things and grow.  I am very fortunate because life has been intent on teaching me a lot of things over the past few years.

I think that I was fortunate to develop a questioning of myself and the world, which allows me to look at situations from a different perspective than I did earlier in life.  These are the three life lessons that life has taught me lately.

No Pain No Gain

no pain no gainNo pain no gain is an expression I used to follow when I was in high school and looking to get into better shape for sports. Then for years afterward I thought it was a philosophy that missed the mark. Who wants to experience pain? Nobody. But recent experiences have led me back to this phrase and the absolute genius it provides in its simplicity. I believe now that there was much more truth in it than I ever could have conceived. No pain no gain.

Feeling Appreciation

What can allow you to feel appreciation today? It seems like our society appreciation searches for ways to make people feel like their life is lacking in some way. That no matter what you have, there is something out there that you need or should desire in order to feel happy, successful, grateful or positive in any way. This is an illusion that we fool ourselves with each day. You have all you need to feel grateful and to be happy, you simply need to appreciate it.

Character

character traitsEvery person contains within them the same capacity for good and evil. Our life experiences and our reaction to them dictate which character traits are dominant in our lives. Knowing that change is always possible is an important factor. If you don’t like a particular aspect of your life then you are capable of changing it by adjusting your focus on things, which will change who you are on the inside.

Your attitude is the most important facet in facilitating positive change in your life and that simply means that you have to understand, believe that you are capable of change and desire to change to a more positive mindset. Know what type of person you want to be and develop those character traits.

Positive Mindset

Creating positive mindsetThings To Consider when Creating a Positive Mindset

Each and every word we use has an energy attached to it and impacts the lives of all that hear it. Too often we use our words without a consideration of how they will affect others. Words are the building blocks used to build our mindset either positive or negative. Our words radiate around and within us long after they are spoken. It is important that all people are vigilant in noticing the charge of our words and the thoughts behind them. Focusing on speaking positively will allow us to create a more positive mindset. This will make life a happier and more enjoyable experience.

Don’t Keep Us Separated

What invisible walls separate you from others?
What invisible walls separate you from others?

Many problems come from the illusion of separation that people have been taught throughout life. Almost from birth, we are taught to group people and label them based on arbitrary measures. Separation by race, religion, region, economics or any other measure is designed to create an identity but they only serve to build walls between people. Security is a big reason for this, where you fit in, you are safe, but later it can be attached to  a person’s self-worth, and value.  We are not separate, we are connected. The truth is that we are far more connected than we are different. Eliminate the separations between us and the world will be a much more functional place.

Thinking

Positive thoughtsThinking has been a theme for me continually. I seem to have a lot of thoughts, and I wonder what they actually mean. Are my thoughts designed to guide me? Or are they here to distract me? Sometimes I could believe either scenario. Do thoughts actually provide any concrete information or do they just arrive to distract you from accomplishment? Positive thoughts always contribute to your greater good.

Small Steps to Success

success“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”~ Success

Are great deeds hiding from you? Is it difficult to find them? This can be the case from time to time, but all deeds provide the chance to be performed with greatness. Each moment of every activity that you are taking a part in provides the opportunity to display the greatness inside of you and find success.

Our Judgments Define Us

Why We Judge

It can be so easy to look at someone else’s life and quickly dissect all that they are doing wrong or at least could be doing better. Their lives seem a simple puzzle. They are too lazy, too rich, too poor, don’t care enough, or care too much. People look so quickly and coldly that they never really see the harm that judgment can do to their own lives.  It is negative energy and that is never going to be a good thing. Acceptance is the key to positive relationships in life, If you are looking for happiness then judgment needs to be avoided at all costs. Who are we to judge someone else? There is no clearer definition of where you are in your personal journey than how much you judge someone else. 

The Choice Is Yours

The-Choice-Is-Yours_Theme_Pastor-Steve-McCartt-Family-Worship-Center-Florence_Web-930x523In every moment we have a power to create all our experiences in life and they are created by our exercising the power of choice. In all things there are choices to make and the results of these choices will lead to the nature of your experience.  It applies to everything and everybody our choices define our lives.

5 Ways To Boost Creativity

gold-fish-jumpingBeing creative is one of the gifts of being human. We all have the ability to look at the same situation and come up with different ways of solving the puzzle and finding a solution. In fact, this can be one of the most valuable tools we have when it comes to making money, excelling in a career or simply just being great as ourselves.  Sometimes it can be difficult to muster a creative answer but there are some things that you can do to make your thought process more creative and perhaps find an answer that you are looking for.

The Original Me

Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?

“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”
– Raymond Hull

sseuss

When I first saw this question I spent a few moments thinking of who I actually compare myself to. It was very difficult because I don’t really compare myself to anyone. Not because I don’t want to grow and aspire to the positive traits of others, but rather I like who I am quite a bit and can’t see me being anyone else.

Appreciate The Flip Side

the flip side of lifeOnce I looked at life and only wanted the good things in my experience.  I think everyone would feel the same way, no sadness, no loss or grief, just happy things that are easy to deal with, yet we all know that life is not going to come as easily as that.  We all must go through some difficult times and I think that is OK because you will never appreciate the good in life unless there is the opposite aspect to compare it to. There is always a flip side.

Books to Grow Your Mind

There is nothing that has allowed me to grow and understand life on a new level more than the books I read. They are a portal into knowledge and understanding that I can only hope to comprehend adequately. I know that my personal growth has stemmed directly from my experience with books and I wanted to share a few of the most recently read that I can highly recommend to all interested parties.

Your Greatness

What I would change about the World

If there was one thing that I could change about the world it would be to

you're not good enough
Messages people receive every day

remove the thought, “I’m not good enough” , from the thought process of everyone in the world.

This single thought has managed to cause more damage than any other in the history of mankind and if people are honest, every person has entertained this thought at one time or another.