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One of my favorite quotations about life’s teachings comes from Thomas Carlyle, who said “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

So, here’s what I’ve come to know:

1) Take care of yourself as best you can. Daily exercise, relaxation and nutrition are vital for optimal performance in every area of life. Do your best and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

2) Love is what makes life worth living. I believe learning to love is the most important skill we can develop in our lives, and yes I strongly believe it’s a skill that must be learned. I think it’s the reason why we are born – to love and be loved.

3) Give until it hurts. That’s my motto and sometimes it does hurt – especially when others take advantage. But give anyway! Giving is the other part of receiving, and I’ve found that helping others always comes back to me multiplied.

4) Learn to be interested in others and their lives. Always look for ways to be of service and you’ll never be alone. You never know who you’ll meet and how your life will be blessed by your connection.

5) Have goals but don’t fall in love with them. Be flexible, as life is ever changing and your goals will change as you grow and your dreams evolve.

6) Learn to flow with life like a stream. Change is the only constant in our world, everything and everyone is in always in a constant state of change. Learn to flow with life, relax and enjoy the ride. Remember, “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream…”

7) Develop persistence. I always like to remember that when life knocks you down (and it will), your ability to persist and look at the big picture is what gets you through.

8) Practice gratitude everyday. Everyone can find something to be grateful for and developing an “Attitude of Gratitude” will pay dividends in ways you cannot imagine.

9) Grow through adversity. The trick to growing through adversity is not “becoming a victim” by looking for reasons “why,” but by looking for the benefits in the situation. Ask yourself high quality questions that start with how or what, such as:

  • How does this help me?
  • What’s good about this situation?
  • What can I learn from this?

10) Exercise control over your thoughts and emotions. There’s only one thing you can completely control in life and that’s your thinking. Master your mind and the world is yours.

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Statistically speaking, I have no business being featured as a luminary. You see, I'm a high school drop-out with a delinquent childhood who came from a broken home, had low self esteem, hung out with the wrong crowd, made incredibly poor decisions, at best right now I should only be earning around $20,000 a year.

The biggest surprise of my life is that each day somewhere in the world someone is being inspired by one of my emails. I'm grateful that I spend my days doing something I love, in an industry I love and credit with saving my life.

Even as a kid, it seemed my tendency was to defy the odds, and that my path to success was meant to follow the road less traveled. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Today, I'm known throughout the world as "Mr. Positive." Co-founder of and publisher of the acclaimed e-zine, "Motivation in a Minute," I've reached millions of people online in over 150 countries with inspirational movies, positive stories and motivational quotes.

My greatest accomplishment is that I pursued my dreams and followed my inner compass that always pointed me back to one thing and one thing only - to help people grow.

For more information, please visit

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Good Morning David,
    I really liked this article….my one area of difficulty seems to be #9….there are certain adverse situations (non-medical) that are extremely sorrowful & have extended pain over many years where I do not see a benefit or learning….the situation just brings more tears and regret or perhaps not being able to move forward in life to achieve the life that one longs for……I find that whenever this type of view is presented it is one I just struggle with which only adds to my upsetment.
    Anyway, Thank You for allowing me to express this thought….I have enjoyed many of the DailyOm programs and writings through the past several years.
    All Best Wishes,

    1. Hi Susan,

      I truly understand your comment about #9 because I struggled with it too!

      Here’s what I know it’s a practice to “look for the good” in the difficult situations and challenges we face. Just practice asking those three questions and when you do try to follow the “Sit, Ask and Listen” formula. (The key is after asking – sitting silently and listen until you get the answer)

      Also, always remember you have a 100% track record of making it through your worst and most difficult days! REMEMBER THIS ALWAYS 😇

    2. Hi Susan,

      Sorry for the delayed response I just happened upon your message today. I understand some situations are very difficult to process and see any benefit from, sometimes the only claim you can make is “I survived” and that’s the benefit and somethings just make no sense sometimes and you just have to accept it as is and move forward the best you can. You can reach me much faster @ [email protected] if you’d like to speak with me about this maybe I can help? I wish you the best, David

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