Feel Good Video of the Day

Survive or Thrive? (Video)

Sometimes, Security Cameras Catch Something Totally Different… (Video)

Thought for the Day – From a Six-Year-Old

 

Blind, Deaf, 3-Legged Dog Named ‘True’ Saves Oklahoma Family from House Fire

Katie Crosley and her baby son, Jace, lost everything in a house fire, but they survived thanks to a heroic three-legged, blind and deaf dog. Crosley had no idea that an electrical short set her Grady County, Oklahoma, cabin aflame as she slept soundly on Sunday morning, but her disabled Dachshund, True, sensed the danger. The rescue dog woke his owner, giving her just enough time to get out of her burning house with her baby.

“We’re thankful for him,” Corsley said. “This could have been a bad deal.” True was able to save his family despite his severe disabilities, and he’s not the only adopted dog out there protecting their owners. Tank, a 7-month-old Boxer-Mastiff mix, instinctively knew to get his owner’s attention when he noticed a fire in the North Carolina family’s laundry room. Russell and Krystal Ewing first thought the rescue dog, which they adopted just days before he was about to be put down, had to go outside. But once they saw the flames, they realized Tank was trying to alert them. “He definitely did the return, without a doubt, and rescued us,” Russell said.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Gratitude

 A Film by Louie Schwartzberg

Overcoming Fear

Overcoming fear doesn’t happen instantly or automatically. It is the result of deliberate intention, and conscious action towards doing things that scare you. As a result of overcoming your fears, you grow as a person, and expand the possibilities that surround your life.

Do you recall the last time you wanted to do something so intensely but fear got in your way? We all have those moments when we are enthralled with an idea only to have fear prevent us from moving forward. What can we do to overcome fear from paralyzing us from moving forward with our dreams and desires?

The interesting thing about the human condition is that the minute we experience pain, we never want to experience it again. So as a result, we do things that we feel will ensure that we do not get hurt. In fact, we will go to further extents to avoid pain than we are to gain pleasure. One of the many interesting things about life is that nothing of value was ever gained by playing it safe. Take, for example, the founding of America. Fifty-six men risked their lives by signing the Declaration of Independence. Their act of signing that document constituted treason and it was a serious offense according to the laws of the British Empire. However, they knew that they needed to sign that document in order to achieve independence.

 “Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”
~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

The Pike Syndrome

The pike is a fierce, carnivorous fish. In an interesting experiment, scientists took a pike and placed it into a large tank with many smaller fish. The pike was separated from these smaller preys by a layer of glass, forming a barrier preventing the pike from reaching its prey.

The pike continuously smashed itself against the glass barrier while trying to reach its prey, but was unsuccessful in its attempts in penetrating this invisible barrier. Gradually, it became discouraged and discontinued this behavior. The pike eventually sank to the bottom of the tank and just laid there. When the pike finally stopped hitting the glass barrier, the scientists removed the barrier, allowing the pike to feast.

To their surprise, the pike continued ignoring the smaller fishes, even when they were swimming right next to the pike. Eventually, the pike starved to death, even when its food was swimming right in front of it. This behavior was eventually known as the “Pike Syndrome.”

Lessons from the “Pike Syndrome”

In our lives, people are limited by a whole host of barriers such as age, abilities or even self-confidence. It does not matter if the barrier is physically there or not, but if our minds perceive a limitation, then a barrier is very much in place. If you perceive yourself to be inferior for instance, this could eventually become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In addition, this experiment tells us that it is often difficult to identify the change, even when the barrier is removed. The pike was unable to change its mindset when the barrier was removed and starved to death. Similarly, people suffer from the same problem as well. We often assume that the barrier is still in place when in fact, it has already disappeared.

Try to identify cases of Pike Syndrome in your life. Remove the constraints that limit your life by critically examining the situation and remove any false assumptions that have been previously holding you back.

“Failure” – A Matter of Perspective

It’s almost impossible to go through life without experiencing some kind of failure. The wonderful thing about failure is that it’s entirely up to us to decide how to look at it. We can choose to see failure as “the end of the world,” or as proof of just how inadequate we are. Or, we can look at failure as the incredible learning experience that it often is. Every time we fail at something, we can choose to look for the lesson we’re meant to learn. These lessons are very important; they’re how we grow, and how we keep from making that same mistake again. Failures stop us only if we let them.

It’s easy to find successful people who have experienced failure. For example:

  • Steve Jobs was fired from Apple in 1985. Yet he returned in 1997, and was instrumental in helping the company develop products such as the iMac, iPod, and iPhone.
  • Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest and most successful businessmen, was rejected by Harvard University.
  • Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin empire, is a high school dropout.

Most of us will stumble and fall in life. Doors will get slammed in our faces, and we might make some bad decisions. But imagine if Michael Jordan had given up on his dream to play basketball when he was cut from that team. Imagine if Richard Branson had listened to the people who told him he’d never do anything worthwhile without a high school diploma.

Think of the opportunities you’ll miss if you let your failures stop you. Failure can also teach us things about ourselves that we would never have learned otherwise. For instance, failure can help you discover how strong a person you are. Failing at something can help you discover your truest friends, or help you find unexpected motivation to succeed.  Often, valuable insights come only after a failure. Accepting and learning from those insights is key to succeeding in life.

Thought Awareness

Thought Awareness is the process by which you observe your thoughts and become aware of what is going through your head. One way to become more aware of your thoughts is to observe your stream of consciousness as you think about a stressful situation. Do not suppress any thoughts: instead, just let them run their course while you watch them, and write them down as they occur.

By logging your negative thoughts for a reasonable period of time, you can quickly see patterns in your negative thinking. When you analyze your diary at the end of the period, you should be able to see the most common and most damaging thoughts. Tackle these as a priority.

Thought awareness is the first step in the process of managing negative thoughts, as you can only manage thoughts that you’re aware of.

Rational Thinking

The next step in dealing with negative thinking is to challenge the negative thoughts that you identified using the Thought Awareness technique. Look at every thought you wrote down and rationally challenge it. Ask yourself whether the thought is reasonable, and does it stand up to fair scrutiny?

As an example, by analyzing your negative thoughts you might identify that you have frequently thought the following:

  • Feelings of inadequacy.
  • Worries that your performance will not be good enough.
  • An anxiety that things outside your control will undermine your efforts.
  • Worries about other people’s reactions to you.

Starting with these, you might challenge these negative thoughts in the ways shown:

  • Feelings of inadequacy: Have you trained and educated yourself as well as you reasonably should? Do you have the experience and resources you need to do it? Have you planned, prepared and rehearsed appropriately? If you’ve done all of this, then you’ve done everything that you should sensibly do. If you’re still worried, are you setting yourself unattainably high standards for doing the job?
  • Worries about performance: Do you have the training that a reasonable person would think is needed to do a good job? Have you planned appropriately? Do you have the information and resources that you need? Have you cleared the time you need, and cued up your support team appropriately? Have you prepared thoroughly? If you haven’t, then you need to do these things quickly. If you have, then you are well positioned to give the best performance that you can.
  • Problems with issues outside your control: Have you thought through and managed all likely risks and contingencies appropriately? If so, you will be well prepared to handle potential problems.
  • Worry about other people’s reactions: If you have put in good preparation, and you do the best you can, then that is all that you need to know. If you perform as well as you reasonably can, and you stay focused on the needs of your audience, then fair people are likely to respond well. If people are not fair, then this is something outside your control.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations:

  • I can do this!
  • My opinion is respected and valued.
  • I am successful.
  • I like completing tasks and projects on time.
  • I’m grateful for the job I have.
  • I enjoy the work I’m doing.
  • I am excellent at what I do.
  • I am generous.
  • I am happy.

Helpful Tips:

Don’t make the mistake of generalizing a single incident. OK, you made a mistake, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad at your job.

Similarly, make sure you take the long view about incidents that you’re finding stressful. Just because you’re finding new responsibilities stressful now, doesn’t mean that they will always be stressful in the future.

Fear and risk does exist in all aspects of life. However, we become a slave to our fears only when we allow ourselves to be intimidated by it. Fear only becomes real when we believe that it is real.

The only antidote to fear is action. If you take action, you will conquer the fear.

Source: http://www.thinksimplenow.com, http://www.mindtools.com, http://www.communicatebetter.blogspot.com

Dog Cries After Being Reunited with its Owner (Video)

Letting Go

 

10 Best Hiking Trails in the World

1. Tongariro Northern Circuit, North Island, New Zealand

It is certainly no secret that New Zealand boasts some of the world’s most beautiful and dramatic scenery, which is why it’s not surprising that one of the world’s most spectacular hikes is located on these mountainous islands. While many people who hike in the Tongariro Reserve (a World Heritage site) on the Northern island stick to the one-day Tongariro Alpine crossing, the multi-day (2 nights and 3 days) Tongariro northern circuit provides hikers with a much richer and scenic experience.

Hikers who set out on this out-of-this-world hike (quite literally) will circumambulate the active volcano Mt. Ngaurube while hiking past boiling mud pools, craters, interesting lava features, the amazing water filled volcanic vents, glacial valleys and water-filled explosion craters called the Emerald Lakes. Things stay nice after dark, as you get to stay in comfortable alpine huts along the way that have decent beds, gas heating and stoves, running water and toilets.

 2. Zion Narrows, Utah, United States

Recently ranked as #5 on National Geographic’s list of America’s Best 100 Adventures, this trail will have you hiking up streams through dramatic, narrow slot canyons. Hikers wind their way through colorful, sculpted sandstone walls that rise up to 3,500 feet. The trek also leads hikers through the famous “Wall Street,” a 2-mile section of the journey that crosses through a narrow canyon where the walls close to just 22 feet wide at the top. Hiking through water for about 60% of the hike up the streams that wind their way through these breathtaking slot canyons, you will see hanging gardens bursting from the red canyon walls, trickling water threading through cracks in the canyon walls and sprouting patches of moss, waterfalls sliding over the sandstone, and sandy banks with towering ponderosas.

However, while this wondrous journey is sure to enchant hikers, it should be noted that hiking through the Zion Narrows is extremely dangerous, as flash floods can come quickly and the entire area is a huge drainage. Rainstorms up to 50 miles away can storm down the canyon and kill hikers. Make sure to check the weather report in advance to make sure there is NO RAIN whatsoever in the forecast. However, with proper precautions, this hike, which is rated as one of the best hikes in the entire U.S. National Park system, is truly unparalleled.

3. Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Any serious hiker or trekker dreams of going to Nepal to journey through the world’s most dramatic mountain landscape. While most hikers think of Kathmandu and Everest when they hear the word Nepal, the Annapurna circuit (which circumnavigates the Annapurna massif) not only has staggering snow-capped and rugged peaks providing for a spectacular backdrop, but the hike also offers trekkers great opportunities to see a wide range of natural and cultural diversity.

This 3-week trek allows you to stay in comfortable lodges as you hike from lush sub-tropical landscapes into the highest mountains in the world (beware of altitude sickness as the trek goes to a elevation of 17,749 feet). As you hike the Annapurna Circuit, you will get to interact with the Tibetan mountain peoples, see Buddhist temples, visit teahouses, soak in hot springs and take in some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the entire world.

peru_machupicchu_tomtill_445x260

4. Inca Trail, Peru

Most people who know something about travel, know about the famous and world-renowned Inca Trail. Peru offers some of the most beautiful South American mountainous scenery and, while some criticize the trail for being over-regulated and too popular, Machu Picchu is a destination worth seeing and the hike along the way is sure not to disappoint.

Along with offering spectacular scenery, the Inca Trail is not only safe and easy to organize, it also allows trekkers to hike through jungle to high alpine terrain, visit 3 sets of Inca ruins along the way, and take in the beauty of the Peruvian mountains over the 3-night, 4-day hike. Plus, at the end of the journey, hikers will arrive at one of the most celebrated man-made destinations on Earth.

5. Tiger Leaping Gorge, China

This 15-km gorge is located along the Yangtzee River between approximately 6,000-meter Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the 5,300-meter Haba Xueshan mountain in China where rapids pass under a series of dramatic 2,000-meter cliffs. The gorge got its name from a legend that says a tiger once jumped the narrowest point of the gorge to escape a hunter (which is still 25 meters). As one of the world’s deepest river canyons, Tiger Leaping Gorge is a beautiful and scenic hike for those adventurous trekkers.

6.  Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

If summiting the tallest point on any continent has always had major appeal, but you are not sure you’re up for a technical, dangerous and rigorous climb, then hiking to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is a great option. Kilimanjaro is often called the world’s tallest walk-able mountain, because while it stands at nearly 20,000 feet, no technical climbing skills or equipment are needed (mind you, this does not mean it is an easy hike—the journey is still physically demanding).

7.  Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai’s Na Pali coastline, which translates as “the cliffs” and which distinguishes the most impressive feature of this stretch of coastline boasts some of the most dramatically beautiful scenery in the world. Sheer cliffs dropping into the blue Pacific waters below, lush tropical valleys with picture-perfect waterfalls, green, velvet coated mountains and waves crashing dramatically into the rocky cliffs mark this hike into the remote and protected areas of coastline, where you can also spot pods of dolphins, humpback whales and sea turtles off the coast.

 8.  Torres del Paine Circuit, Chile

Those looking for dramatic alpine landscapes, glacial fields, astonishing, jagged mountainscapes and a chance to get a look at the stunning spires of pink granite that make the famous towers of Paine should hike the Torres del Paine Circuit in Chile’s Patagonia mountains. Named one of the 50 places to visit in your lifetime by National Geographic, as well as being named a UNESCO biosphere reserve, this 100-km circuit offers surreal mountain vistas, glacial lakes and unique wildlife. You might even see a glacier calving. The wondrous track takes you through Magellenic forest, muddy bog, rocky gullies and over makeshift bridges.

9. Tour de Mont Blanc, France

Regularly making lists as one of the best hikes in the world, this route circumambulates Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak standing at just over 15,000 feet. The 170-km hike offers stunning views of Mount Blanc and other Alp peaks, beautiful green valleys, blue alpine lakes and huge glaciers. The well-marked and maintained trails also lead hikers past wild chamois and ibexes, allow them to climb iron ladders bolted to the mountains and enjoy the alpine charm of the French Alps.

The other great part of this hike? While you may not feel quite as tough staying in the comfortable and warm refuges (hiking huts) along the way, not having to carry food or a tent makes for much lighter loads. Also, while opting to take the cable cars and chair lifts along the way could be considered cheating, it’s a great way to shorten your hike on certain days and be able to take in all the beautiful scenery without having to be too hardcore. Plus, the refuges offer comfort along the route—serving up hearty and delicious French food and wine and allowing hikers the chance to stalk up on food and supplies.

10. West Coast Trail, British Columbia, Canada

If you are looking for a surreal experience hiking through pristine Canadian wilderness, catching beautiful vistas of both temperate rain forests, rugged coastlines and dramatic mountain peaks, then the West Coast Trail is an absolute must. Hikers will awake to misty dawns, enjoy unbelievable sunsets, cross boulders and logs over rivers, scramble up creeks, hike past waterfalls, be dwarfed by enormous trees in an old growth forest, spot whales, sea lions, minks and maybe even bears or wolves, and check out shipwrecks and other historical sites.

Source: http://www.bootsnall.com

Do-Gooder Leaves Special Note on Car

Last week a photograph was posted to a social media website showing a typed note left anonymously on a truck. The Good Samaritan wrote, “You do not know me but I saw that you needed some tires for your truck and I wanted to do something nice for a stranger because one day a stranger did something nice for me. The receipt is in the envelope and all you have to do is go by Warehouse Tire on 3rd Street and ask for Steven Hodges and they will be put on for free.” The note ended: “All I ask is that one day you do something nice for a complete stranger.”

Some Reddit users did not believe the note to be genuine, so a Huffington Post writer telephoned Warehouse Tire & Battery Sales in Washington, North Carolina. Steven Hodges confirmed the payment for a new set of tires. Acts of kindness happen every day, especially amid natural disasters. But such random acts are special too, and such a delightful surprise. Asking the recipient to choose a stranger and ‘pay it forward’ might lead to more delightful stories.

Do you have any special stories like this? I’d love to hear them!

Source: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org

7 True Stories of Animals Rescuing People from Certain Death

Animals have a knack for saving other animals, but they’ve also been known to put themselves in the line of danger for humans too.

#7. Lions Save Girl from Kidnappers

A 12-year-old Kenyan girl had been abducted by several men. When the authorities finally found her a week later, she was alone, her kidnappers having fled. Instead, she was surrounded by three lions that had scared away her captors. The police said that the lions had been guarding her for about half a day when they got there, not only abstaining from eating the little girl themselves, but also making sure that nothing else got close to her. When the police finally arrived, the lions departed. Experts say that the lions might have been reacting to the girl’s tears as if they were the mews of a lion cub.

#6. Gorilla Saves 3-Year-Old Boy

A three-year-old boy went right into a gorilla enclosure when he fell over the fence. The 18-foot drop left him unconscious and with a critical head injury. Since gorillas can be dangerously aggressive with their territory the police were barred from immediate action. Binti, one of the gorillas in the enclosure went to the boy’s aid by cradling him in her arms and then bringing him to the enclosure door, where paramedics could get to him. The police and staff were quick to note that without Binti’s assistance, the situation could have been much worse.

Back in the 1980s, another incident occurred where a child fell into a gorilla enclosure. That time, the gorilla was a male silverback who watched over the unconscious boy and led away the rest of his troop when paramedics arrived.

#5. Whale Saves Drowning Diver

The Polarland Aquariam in Harbin, China held a free diving contest in their 20-foot-deep, arctic-temperature whale tank with seven divers who were not allowed to use a breathing apparatus. 26-year-old Yang Yun was one of the seven divers to participate. Upon reaching the bottom of the pool, her leg cramped and prevented her from swimming properly. In her panic, she began to choke. Mila, one of the two beluga whales in the tank swam to her rescue. Mila grabbed Yang Yun’s leg with her mouth and started forcefully pushing her to the surface. The diver survived, and likely wouldn’t have without Mila’s help.

#4. Pig Saves Owner from Heart Attack

LuLu the potbellied pig bolted for help when Jo Ann had a heart attack. The problem was that she had never left the fenced yard before. How would a 150-pound ham ball manage a fence latch? Somehow, LuLu did it. She escaped her yard and found a highway. She waited for a car to come by, then walked out into the middle of the road and laid down to try to get the cars to stop. When someone finally did stop, he followed LuLu back to the house and discovered that Jo Ann had suffered a heart attack. He immediately called the paramedics, and Jo Ann was saved. As a reward, LuLu received her favorite treat: a jelly doughnut.

#3. Woman Saved from Raging Cow by Horse

Fiona Boyd, a farmer in Scotland, was severely attacked and trampled by a mother cow. Just as Fiona thought she had no hope left, her mare, Kerry, heard her cries from nearby and ran to her aid. Kerry began kicking the cow into submission. Kerry ended up giving Fiona enough time to crawl to safety.

#2. Rabbit Saves Man from Diabetic Coma

Simon Steggall fell into a potentially lethal diabetic coma on his couch in his home in Cambridgeshire, England. Victoria, his wife, was in the vicinity when it happened, but she was under the impression that he had fallen asleep on the couch after a hard day at work. It was Dory, the couple’s house rabbit, who sensed something wrong and hopped on top of Simon. She began to thump around emphatically and lick at Simon’s mouth aggressively.

Victoria soon saw Dory’s odd behavior and figured out that the rabbit somehow had a more acute sense of her husband’s dire medical state than she did. She called the paramedics, and Simon’s life was saved.

#1. Dolphins Are the Angels of the Ocean

In 2004, four lifeguards were swimming off the coast of New Zealand when a pod of dolphins surrounded them underwater. One of the dolphins jumped out of the water and surfaced in the direction of a 10-foot-long great white shark. As the shark caught sight of the lifeguards, he darted for them, but the dolphins started swimming in a frenzy, blocking his way. The dolphins swam around for close to 40 minutes like this, while the lifeguards swam to safety.

Almost the exact same thing happened a few years later. In 2007, a man named Todd Endris was surfing when a great white knocked him off his board. After taking a bite out of Todd, the shark was then warded off by a pod of dolphins that surrounded Todd until he got to shore and was assisted by his friend. Scientists aren’t sure why dolphins save people, but they definitely agree that they have the intelligence to do it.

Source: http://www.cracked.com

 

Health Tips

Some health conditions are just not preventable. When you find out that there is some control over illnesses such as heart disease and cancers, doesn’t it feel good? 70% of all cancers can be prevented with simple changes in diet and lifestyle, states the World Health Organization. After researching various topics, these tips seem to be the most commonly suggested:

Tip Number 1: Know what is NOT good for you. The following foods and lifestyle choices have shown direct links to heart disease and cancer.

  • Sugar
  • Refined carbohydrates (commonly known as “the white foods,” i.e. white flour)
  • Hydrogenated oils, aka “trans fats” (How do you know whether food contains trans fat? Look for the words “partially hydrogenated” vegetable oil)
  • Acrylamides (found in starchy foods cooked in high heat, e.g. doughnuts, french fries. Acrylamide is a known lethal neurotoxin)
  • Sodium Nitrite and nitrates – although you may associate this substance with processed meats, it can often be found in vegetables too. Actually, the list continues to grow. Nitrates can be found in meats, pickled foods, fried foods, smoked foods, cheese and fish. Eating organic can help eliminate unwanted consumption of this sickening stuff.
  • Saturated fats (high-fat cheeses, high-fat cuts of meats, whole-fat milk and cream, butter, ice cream, palm and coconut oils). Some of these foods contain good things for us too, but what is important to remember is the amount of saturated fats you are ingesting.
  • Low oxygen levels (the result of a lack of exercise)

*Overall worst foods to ingest: french fries, doughnuts, chips, crackers and cookies.  (that hurts just typing it.)

Tip Number 2: Know what IS good for you. The following foods and lifestyle choices have shown a direct link to the prevention of heart disease and cancer.

  • Vigorous exercise – not being able to hold a conversation is a good marker of vigorous exercise. Tumors cannot thrive in highly oxygenated environments.
  • Plant diet (most of what we consume should be vegetables)
  • Vitamin C based foods (kale is at the top of the list)
  • Omega-3 fats (e.g. salmon, walnuts)
  • Unprocessed foods
  • Alkaline diets – High acidic diets have shown to decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease energy production in cells, decrease the ability to repair damaged cells and also allow tumors to thrive. High levels of stress have also shown to increase the body’s acidity.
  • Green tea – chemicals in green tea called polyphenols appear to inhibit two proteins that promote tumor cell growth and migration.

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” -Buddha

Bieber Tickets Create a Special Smile

Two little girls in Texas gave up their Justin Bieber tickets so another ‘belieber’ with a rare blood disorder could go to the concert instead. Dawson Beaty and Samantha Brown didn’t even know 7-year old Emma Routh.  They read about her on a facebook page.  “I wanted to go to the Justin Bieber concert,” Beaty tells HLN affiliate, “but she really wanted to go, so I let her have my Justin Bieber concert tickets.”

Emma suffers from a rare blood disorder called Fanconi Anemia, according to EmmasArmy.org.  FA leads to bone marrow failure and makes sufferers extremely susceptible to various cancers. The look on little Emma’s face when she realizes that she’s going to see Justin in concert is absolutely priceless!

Watch the heart-warming video here: http://www.hlntv.com/video/2012/10/17/girls-give-bieber-tickets-girl-cancer

Source: http://www.hlntv.com