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A Different Path

   Happiness and fulfillment are the cornerstones of a life well-lived.  They are also states of well-being that remain, at times, elusive throughout our lifetime.  It is a constant quest we are on to attain such joy, and we each have a specific idea about how to go about doing it.  At a particularly difficult time in my own life, a very dear family member shared a beautiful gift, bearing the sentiments of American religious leader, Thomas S. Manson, who wrote:  “We cannot direct the winds, but we can adjust our sails.” What a profound and prophetic attitude. This is an ingenious way to look at things!
   It is part of the human condition to plan and forecast our lives. In doing so, if only temporarily, we gain a sense of mastery, and feel proactive in attaining our set dreams and aspirations.  We derive purpose and direction in our lives. These goals and plans can encompass many different aspects:  relationships, education, career paths, finances, and so on. We cling to these notions and timelines, and when life invariably deals us a curve ball of sorts, we often find ourselves feeling out of control and lost.  We struggle to regain our emotional and psychological footing, and often forget the need to recalculate what is most important to our sense of well-being.
   A shift in perspective, is the best way to still pursue these dreams and aspirations.  It doesn’t have to signify the end of a particular vision for your life, but rather, an expanded version: one that is, perhaps, more inclusive, forgiving and less structured.
In understanding that goals and aspirations are not set in stone, and that they can be accomplished by different means, we allow ourselves greater opportunity for success.  We also avoid greater disappointment and disillusionment when they do not go exactly according to our plans.  Creating a back-up or alternate plan, can give us a greater sense of security.  It can reinforce our commitment to our goals without putting undue pressure on us. Having a flexible time frame still holds us accountable, but gives us some wiggle room in the process.
   One thing is for sure: things will always be subject to change!  If we enter into our expectations knowing, understanding and accepting this fact, we can find true and lasting satisfaction on our life’s journey, no matter what path it takes!
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Poolside Picks

Dive into your summer reading list

(Family Features) Laying out on the beach and floating in the pool are true hallmarks of summer. A good book, however, can elevate these relaxing experiences to a new level.

Whether you find yourself looking for a beach read, a book for the pool or something to help you escape while lounging on the couch with the windows open, these sizzling summer reads offer something for nearly every type of reader. From suspense to romance and adventure, you don’t want to miss these books this summer.

Some Secrets Aren’t Meant to Be Shared

From author Meg Mitchell Moore comes a warm, witty and suspenseful novel filled with small-town secrets, summer romance, big time lies and spiked seltzer. In “Two Truths and A Lie” the leader of an idyllic beach town “mom squad” has made surprising effort to include a new resident and her daughter in typically closed-group activities, though they’re not the only ones she’s been spending more time with. A blend of propulsive thriller and gorgeous summer read, Moore’s latest novel is a reminder that happiness isn’t always a day at the beach, some secrets aren’t meant to be shared and the most precious things are loved ones.

Romantic Adventure Proves Anything Can Happen

No. 1 “New York Times” bestseller Susan Elizabeth Phillips returns to her Chicago Stars series with a romance between a quarterback and one of the world’s greatest opera singers – and a major diva – in “When Stars Collide.” It’s Mozart meets Monday night football as the temperamental soprano and stubborn jock embark on a nationwide tour promoting a luxury watch brand, they engage in soul-searching, trash talk and backstage drama. Threatening letters, haunting photographs and a series of dangerous encounters also complicate their lives and make them wonder if it’s the work of an overzealous fan or something more sinister.

Transatlantic Love Story Raises the Royal Stakes

“New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author Alyssa Cole’s second Runaway Royals novel, “How to Find a Princess,” is an Anastasia-inspired romance featuring a long-lost princess who finds love with the female investigator tasked with tracking her down. When a threat to her grandmother’s livelihood pushes the princess to return to Ibarania, the investigator takes her on a transatlantic adventure. When they finally make it, they realize there’s more at stake than just cash and crown, and the princess must learn what it means to fight for what she desires rather than what she feels bound to by duty.

Find more titles to add to your summer reading list at Facebook.com/WilliamMorrowBooks .


Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman reading in pool)

Harper Collins

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