Keeping track of what you are grateful for may sound like like something Oprah Winfrey suggested decades ago. But today, several new studies suggest that practicing gratitude isn’t just for the Pollyannas of the world. In another study, researchers from Harvard, Northeastern University, and the University of California-Riverside found participants who practiced gratitude were more patient than their less grateful counterparts.
In that study, which appears in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, participants were given the opportunity to receive immediate cash or wait for a larger check that would be mailed later. The future belongs to those who never fail to give every moment the positive attention and action that it truly deserves. Reading requires your brain to be active, the neurons firing, and actually makes you smarter. Reading causes dendrites (the part of the neuron where memories are stored) to form, improving your capacity for memory. Reading, when done for pleasure, reduces your stress & that is good for your overall health.
Reading, because it makes you think and apply what you’ve read, actually improves your reasoning skills. Reading can teach you about your own self, you recognize yourself or who you’d like to be in the pages.
Reading can allow you to see what’s important to you by the kind of books you tend to choose. Reading can make you feel not so alone, especially a memoir of someone who’s been through the same thing you have. Reading builds connections with other people, even if the only other person is that author. I have a soft spot for author Stephen King because he was the biggest influence in pushing me toward being a fiction writer.
What book changed your life? Please feel free to share your thoughts & experiences in the comment box below.
You just made my evening, thanks so much for sharing that little tidbit with me ~ first one you open.
Love the Stephen King quote and loving the changes to the site, great showcase for Small As A Mustard Seed, which is now 3rd on my to read list – hooray!
There’s a couple of books that are close to my heart and came instantly to mind once I read this post. Hi Shelli, I just discovered you from reading Brock Heasley’s blog and I have to say I loved this post. By the way, I love your blog, I have copied and pasted so many things off here to save in word docs.
Our teacher told us to look for a person who became successful because of reading and I’m glad I found you, your experiences in reading helps me a lot. How Looking For The Gift(s) Can Change Your Life  Sometimes life hands you a box of darkness. It seemed that almost everyone was into some sort of religion, so I did the obvious thing and went to church. I suspect that few people in the universities and colleges of this country were more sincere about trying to find meaning, truth, and purpose in life than I was.
During that time I noticed a small group of people -- eight students and two faculty members. They were bothering me, so finally I looked over at one of the students, a good-looking woman (I used to think all Christians were ugly); and I leaned back in my chair (I didn't want the others to think I was interested) and I said, "Tell me, what changed your lives? There are probably more people in universities with misconceptions about Christianity than anywhere else in the world. As I considered Christianity, my new friends challenged me intellectually to examine Jesus' life.

After many months of study, my mind came to the conclusion that Jesus Christ must have been who he claimed to be.
That night I prayed four things to establish a relationship with Jesus Christ which has since transformed my life. I'm sure you've heard various religious people talking about their personal bolt-of-lightning experience. After I made that decision for Christ, he entered my life and his love was so strong that he took the hatred and turned it upside down.
Josh McDowell is an internationally known speaker, author, and traveling representative for Campus Crusade for Christ. All materials, unless otherwise noted, were taken from the Internet and are assumed to be in the public domain. Recent studies show that practicing gratitude can positively impact your life—and researchers believe it may help us break our bad habits. Jo-Ann Tsang, a psychology professor at Baylor University, who led a study that appeared in the July 2014 issue of the journal Personality and Individual Differences. James Roberts, a marketing professor at Baylor University, says materialists are less happy, partly because they have difficulty being grateful for what they have.
Prior to making their selection, participants were randomly assigned to write about an event that made them grateful, happy, or neutral.
The findings suggest a connection between gratitude and long-term thinking, which may assist in helping people quit smoking, lose weight, and spend money responsibly. 123Greetingss is presenting you most successful motivational quotes that can change your life and give a new direction to move towards success.
Her debut book, Small as a Mustard Seed, has been heralded as “a superbly-crafted and reader-engaging novel” that will “run you through an emotional marathon at a sprinter’s pace.” Learn more about Shelli here. His book, On Writing, is one of the best I’ve read on the writing craft and his own personal story he shares is inspiring, too.
My grandparents used to have a small library and I would tuck myself away in there for hours, and read until I fell asleep on top of the book I was reading! It was the first book that took me on a real, complex journey into another world and it made me think about my own life in a whole different way. The Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl, as without this book and my obsession with wanting to climb into the pages and get inside, Boggis, Bunce and Bean’s storerooms, football and cricket would have just pushed reading aside, instead of them all being happy bedfellows of my youth. But, having been a lifelong bookworm, I’ve been fortunate to read many books (some for pleasure, some for school) that have fired my imagination, challenged me to open my mind, some have certainly helped me to feel less lonely. Now with my new Kindle I have over 400 books on it and as soon as I get done with one I am onto the next.
Inspirational stories can truly change a life and make it better as it gives a message of hope to the one reading it. Being a leader, accepting some cause, giving yourself to it, and being popular might do it, I thought. Religion is when human beings try to work their way to God through good works; Christianity is God coming to men and women through Jesus Christ to offer a relationship with himself. Some time ago I met a teaching assistant who remarked in a graduate seminar that "anyone who walks into a church becomes a Christian." I replied, "Does walking into a garage make you a car?" I was told that a Christian is somebody who genuinely believes in Christ. If you've ever been around happy people when you're miserable, you understand how they can bug you.
But I mention it because a lot of people need to have the same change in their lives, and I found the source of change: a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I was able to look my father squarely in the eyes and say, "Dad, I love you." And I really meant it. Somebody in my own family, someone who knew me so well I couldn't pull the wool over his eyes, said to me, "Son, if God can do in my life what I've seen him do in yours, then I want to give him the opportunity." Right there my father prayed with me and trusted Christ for the forgiveness of his sins.
He has written more than fifty books, including the classics More Than A Carpenter and Evidence That Demands A Verdict.

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At the university I attended, the student leaders held the purse strings and threw their weight around. While everyone else seemed under the pile, they appeared to have a content, peaceful state about them that wasn't driven by circumstances. Two weeks after that decision we were all sitting around a table in the student union -- six students and two faculty members. They would be so happy and I would be so miserable that I'd literally get up and run right out of the student union.
I was once in a debate with the head of the history department at a Midwestern university, and I said my life had been changed.
I'd walk across the campus and my mind was like a whirlwind with conflicts bouncing around the walls. Customers walking into a quiet seaside pub and seeing a student barman crying his eyes out tend to walk out, so I had plenty of time to start writing.
Preferably one who wouldn’t end up in the same sort of predicament as the author in Misery.
They were convinced that Jesus was God in human form who died on the cross for the sins of mankind, that he was buried, that he arose three days later, and that he could change a person's life today. I used to wait for a Christian to speak up in the classroom so I could tear him or her up one side and down the other, and beat the professor to the punch. It came to the point where I'd go to bed at ten at night, and I wouldn't get to sleep until four in the morning. He interrupted me with "McDowell, are you trying to tell us that God really changed your life in the 20th century? Under one of the bunk beds, I found a box full of Stephen King books & I spent those 2 weeks reading his early work, which is absolutely fantastic. Strangely, it was the emotional pull of this book and the amazing plot of that inspirational movie Seven that made me put pen to paper on a crime thriller 16 years ago. And then, after the chapter where she learns about limericks on her first day of school, I decided to try my hand at writing a limerick. It was great having everyone know me, making the decisions, and spending the university's money to get speakers I wanted.
What areas?" After 45 minutes he said, "OK, that's enough." Let me tell you a few of the things I told him and the audience that day.
If you trust Christ, start watching your attitudes and actions because Jesus Christ is in the business of changing lives. I wanted to be able to do what King did ~ make people feel scared, angry, happy, whatever ~ just by telling them a story. Only once in 14 years have I exploded (and when I blew it that time, I made up for it for about six years!). I would wake up Monday morning (usually with a headache because of the night before) and my attitude was, "Well, here goes another five days." I endured Monday through Friday. I didn't care if Christ did walk on water or turn water into wine, I didn't want any party-pooper around. What I found in this relationship with Jesus wasn't absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it.
There were times I'd go out in the barn and see my mother beaten so badly she couldn't get up, lying in the manure behind the cows. When we had friends over, I would take my father out, tie him up in the barn, and park the car around the silo.

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