About This Book


It's time to thrive! Whether life's dealt you a setback or you're ready for a positive change, this collection of 101 inspiring and empowering stories will motivate you to create balance and more meaning in your life. With stories by people who have flourished instead of floundered in the face of challenges, pursued their dreams, and changed their focus and their lives, you will be motivated to reorient your life and thrive too! Great for anyone in need of a boost and inspiration.

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Five Ways to Take Back Control of Your Life

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Time to Thrive by Amy Newmark and Loren Slocum Lahav

Sometimes you need to rediscover what makes you tick, learn to take care of yourself and make time for the people and things that you love. You'll learn how to take charge of your life, pursue your passions and lead a meaningful life doing what's right for you in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Time to Thrive. Here are five tips from people who have found their own key to thriving:

  1. Be disciplined about your "me" time. Five days a week, from Tuesday to Saturday, Rebecca Hill dedicates all of her time and attention to her customers. Whether it's sculpting someone's arms or the perfect vacation, her two jobs—as a fitness instructor and a combination innkeeper and concierge—keep her on her toes. Sundays are devoted to "pajama day" with her husband. And then on Mondays Rebecca takes time to pamper her most important customer: herself. Mondays are her "My-days," and she makes sure she spends them doing things that make her feel great. My-days give Rebecca the positive boost and recharge she needs to approach the rest of the week with the energy and enthusiasm.

  2. Don't be afraid to flout convention. Her friends and family all thought she was crazy for deciding to make the 16,000-mile trip from her home in Florida to Alaska and back—all by herself. Especially with only four months to plan! What they didn't know was that Sheila Wasserman was making her dream come true. No, she wasn't nervous, and no, she didn't need anyone accompanying her. "It was hard to tell them I wanted to be alone. I like my own company." She planned out her grand adventure almost like she was in a dream. After packing a camper with all the essentials, she set out on the open road to discover if there was any more "her" left in her. It was exactly what she wanted.

  3. Treat yourself as well as you would a guest. When Paula Klendworth Skory was a child, her mother put out special flower-shaped soaps for company. The family never touched them as they were for guests. Over time the little soaps collected dust, until they didn't really look very special at all. As an adult, Paula continued in the same vein, putting out special things for guests, but never using them herself. One of those things was another piece of soap, this one a handmade gift from her artisan brother-in-law shortly after her wedding. It wasn't until she was diagnosed with cancer decades later that she realized it was time to treat herself as well as a guest. The soap came out of the drawer, and as the water ran over her hands, the colors and scent filled her with pure joy. "I felt my troubles washing away with those tiny bits of foam." It was such a small thing, but it made her so happy. Now Paula understands that she deserves the guest treatment, too.

  4. Learn how to say "no." Ann Vitale spent the better part of three decades saying yes to every request made of her. Lead a club, chair a board, join an organization—when anyone asked a favor, she always said yes. "The trouble is, many times when you assume the mantle people expect you will continue to wear it year after year." When she retired, she decided she would do all the things she had always wanted to do for herself. She thought about the things she had saved for later, for "as soon as…" But the requests didn't stop. Until one day she had a revelation: "I'd just said ‘No' with no explanation. …Just ‘No.' And surprisingly, I didn't feel guilty about it." Now Ann says "yes" to herself. Yes to relaxing, yes to writing, yes to tending her flowerbed. And sometimes she still says yes to the favors, too, but only when she really wants to.

  5. Make a habit of trying new things. A lackluster book club meeting suddenly took on a whole new life after Ericka Kahler decided to make a couple of phone calls to find a guest speaker. It was like a bolt out of the blue when she realized how simple it was to make things happen. "How many opportunities had I lost because I didn't make an effort?" That's when she decided it would be her "Summer of Yes." When friends proposed new adventures, she enthusiastically jumped right in. And the more she said yes, the more invitations she got and the more new adventures she tried. By the end of the year, she had a new job, a completed college degree, and a wide range of new interests. "Yes" had become her mantra, and it changed her life.

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