Sunday Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum on · 48 comments

not afraid
Creative Commons License photo credit: shoothead

“The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Mindful Mimi January 4, 2009 at 3:11 am

Great quote. Everything is always in yourself. It is much easier to blame circumstances, other people etc. It takes time to realise that it’s all in you. And courage to do something about it. Anything one does from there is a step forward (although it may look like a huge fallback) as one is always getting one step closer to the truth, the real you – even when it’s making mistakes. I am still struggling with it sometimes when in a situation I do not like. It takes practice to pull yourself out of it.
Have a great start of the week tomorrow.

Mindful Mimi´s last blog post..Your talent lies in your choice – Stella Adler


Dr. Cason January 4, 2009 at 4:52 am

I have always held this to be true. All goods things have come from deep personal work.

Dr. Cason´s last blog post..Friday’s Photo Challenge December Finalists!


CG Walters January 4, 2009 at 5:59 am

Thank you, Lance!
This is always a good thing to be reminded of.
blessings to you and your dear ones,

CG Walters´s last blog post..CelebraZine 01Jan09


MizFit January 4, 2009 at 6:08 am


as always

need the reminder

as always

MizFit´s last blog post..What’s TAT you said?


kathy January 4, 2009 at 6:46 am

everything we need to create our own opportunities is within ourselves and yet we usually go looking elsewhere

it only takes a bit of work and courage to uncover our own unique brilliance

thanks for another gentle reminder

kathy´s last blog post..Simple Saturday Supper: Italian White Bean Soup with Broccoli and Prosciutto


Dave Fowler January 4, 2009 at 7:33 am

I struggle to keep this in mind when I’m trying to drag myself out of bed early every morning. I feel that now is the time to dig deep and find that opportunity – and every time I sleep in a little longer than intended I feel I’m denying myself that opportunity.

Dave Fowler´s last blog post..Not Without A Fight


Tom Volkar / Delightful Work January 4, 2009 at 7:54 am

Yes! I love going deep, that’s where the juicy work always is. Lately I’ve been thinking about how to say yes to this part of myself more often. Surprisingly my realization is that to say yes, we need to first say no to many of the outside distractions. Clear some space then go within.

Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..Parlay Your Wisdom


Natalia Burleson January 4, 2009 at 8:11 am

Lance, what a great quote. It’s funny to me that this goes along with what I’ve been thinking this week. I’m the only one that can do what needs to get done to get to my goal! No matter what anybody else wants me to do I have to find a way to do it. Nobody else can do it for me. I won’t do it for anybody else either. In the past I’ve made the mistake of crediting somebody else for my success. That is a dangerous place to be because when that person isn’t around anymore you flounder and you think that you won’t be able to do it without that person. That’s not to say that people don’t support you or offer a helping hand along the way, but they don’t DO it. 🙂

Hopefully this isn’t too off base with your quote, golden opportunity for me right now is goal, that’s what I got out of it…..*grin*

Natalia Burleson´s last blog post..First weigh in & Big Lessons of 2008!


Stacey Shipman January 4, 2009 at 8:23 am

Thank you, thank you for this quote. I truly believe this – we have to take a look deep inside ourselves…I agree with Tom – that’s when life gets “juicy”. Scary sometimes, but inside is where it all begins – in our own hearts! I am down with that in 2009!

Stacey Shipman´s last blog post..Reflections, Happy New Year and a Poem


LifeMadeGreat | Juliet January 4, 2009 at 8:42 am

Hi Lance

This quote really says it all…

Thank you

LifeMadeGreat | Juliet´s last blog post..What Is The Meaning Of New Year?


Success Factors January 4, 2009 at 9:04 am

What a great quote. I love when I read good quotes about taking accountability for your own success and failure. So many people like to blame the environment for their situations, but the truth is, man is one of the only creatures that have the ability to change their environment.

This quote kind of reminds me of the Tolstoy quote I talked about previously… “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Success Factors´s last blog post..Why Einstein Became Immortal (and how your company can join him), Success Factors Day 3


Karl - Work Happy Now January 4, 2009 at 9:39 am

It all starts with the man in the mirror. When we can look back and appreciate the talent and beauty that we bring to this world then we have taken the hardest step. I admit that it’s taken me a long time to love myself. I still lack confidence in many areas, but every single day is about building this weakness into a strength. That’s why I believe personal development is so important. We need to keep learning and improving or we will never reach our life’s goals.

Karl – Work Happy Now´s last blog post..Work Happy Now’s Best Posts of 2008


deepikaur January 4, 2009 at 10:08 am

Thanks for the ever-empowering quote. The image you’ve chosen alone is quite powerful as well. One is accountable for their own success, and to seek it, they must understand themselves.

deepikaur´s last blog post..Benefits of Lemon Water [Health]


Arswino January 4, 2009 at 10:16 am

A nice reflection, Lance. Changes always begin with the word ‘I’.

Arswino´s last blog post..If You Don’t Sacrifice Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later


Success Factors January 4, 2009 at 11:29 am

@deepikaur I don’t think you even need to understand yourself or where you want to go. You just need to be willing to hold yourself accountable and be willing to “do something.”

Success Factors´s last blog post..Why Einstein Became Immortal (and how your company can join him), Success Factors Day 3


Jannie January 4, 2009 at 11:57 am

I just had that tattooed on my heart, thanks!!

Like J.C. Penny – “it’s all inside,” right!

Jannie´s last blog post..And now that meme!


Evita January 4, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Hello Lance!

What a fantastic quote to start the New Year off with, especially as many are making or trying to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions. The answers that we want, the changes that we seek are all indeed within us and unless we realize that – we may find ourselves disappointedly not getting very far.

Very empowering Lance – thank you!

Evita´s last blog post..Wishing You A Joyous Holiday Season


Mark January 4, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Fantastic quote Lance! Thank you!


sharon January 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Good Sunday Lance! Orisson Swett Marden is one of my favorite writers and that quote says it all. It’s all within us. Many thanks.

sharon´s last blog post..Wishing You A Scary 2009!


Lance January 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm

@Mimi – Courage, a very important point! And so is realizing that what seems like a step back doesn’t have to be so – if we do look at this as one step closer to our goal. Which we are, if we see setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow. Thanks, Mimi!

@Dr. Cason – It’s also what’s going to have the most meaning for us, that which we are very personally involved in. Thanks Sheila!

@CG Walters – A good reminder, indeed – your welcome!

@MizFit – I need this reminder too! Way often…

@Kathy – Why is that – that we look elsewhere, when everything we need is right here with us already? Maybe it feels less fearful, maybe less like we’re putting ourselves “out there” if it doesn’t work. And yet, when we look within and really let “ourselves” be – our unique brilliance does shine! You’ve said that so well – thank you, Kathy!

@Dave – Yes, sometimes it means doing something “more” – like getting up early. Or working a little later. Or listening a little better. And it cna make all the difference between mediocre and great… And I understand about the dragging yourself out of bed – it can be so hard to move away from the pillow! Great point, Dave – about really going the extra mile – and what a difference that can mean.

@Tom – Whoa! You’ve really hit upon a very important point. The whole idea of things in our life that aren’t taking us toward where we desire to go. How often do we have so many of these, that they overtake – and we really have a hard time focusing on what is really important. That’s a realization I’m sure we can’t hear enough. Focus on what’s really important! Tom, thank you for this insight – it fits so perfectly with this quote!

@Natalia – Not off base at all, Natalia. The key point – that we have to individually want something, and then put forth the effort to go and make it happen. That’s where it’s at. Great things aren’t just going to happen to us, while we sit on the sidelines and watch. We have to jump in and do – and really, do what our heart is saying – that’s where we have the greatest opportunity for growth. The golden opportunity is there for all of us…

@Stacey Shipman – Stacey, you’ve really said it – it can be scary, yet it’s also juicy! It’s the creme de la creme. And it is what’s in our hearts. Is it hard to listen to our hearts? Yes! Because it’s the scary stuff – it’s what feels like we’re stepping outside of our boxes. And yet, it’s the “juicy” stuff! It’s what makes our heart sing! I’m down with that, too, for the new year!!


Lance January 4, 2009 at 2:02 pm

@Juliet – Thanks Juliet!

@Success Factors – I know I’ve done that – blamed the “environment” – when where should I start? With myself! And, the Tolstoy quote is a perfect complement to this quote. We really need to start with ourselves… Thanks for sharing that here!

@Karl – Excellent point — as we get closer toward really loving ourselves, we are more able to really listen to what our hearts are saying – and go after those things that are in there! And yes, every day can certainly be about taking steps toward more confidence in our own abilities. Thanks Karl!

@Deepikaur – This image just seemed to fit perfectly, I was very drawn to it, as well. Understanding ourselves – so important! Thank you.

@Arswino – Thanks, Arswino! To change, we really should focus on ourselves first. Reminds me of a Gandhi quote – “You must be the change you wish to see in this world”.

@Jannie – I love it Jannie! You always bring a smile! If we all tattooed this on our heart – and then remembered it every day – how powerful that could be for all of us reaching our own great heights!

@Evita – I too, think this fits very well – as we enter a new year – and really think about what lies ahead for each one of us. Looking within, listening to our hearts… And really being the what we are destined to be… Evita, thank you for that!

@Mark – Thanks Mark!

@Sharon – All within – such an important point to remember! And yet, it’s so easy to start looking outside first… Yet, when we really look into ourselves – and listen to what we’re hearing – great things can happen!


Julie January 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm

This is one of those thoughts that is sobering yet incredibly empowering at the same time. Our responsibility for our health, well-being, and happiness, even our circumstances, relies on our ability to look inside and really get to know ourselves, become our own pep rally, and then take some kind of action. Looking any other direction than within is like playing ostrich. 😉 Thanks, Lance!

Julie´s last blog post..This is the Day!


Ana January 4, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Well shared. The reality of all truths, is this; ourselfs.


brandi January 4, 2009 at 5:05 pm

these quotes always seem to be just what I need at the time. thank you!!!

brandi´s last blog post..2008, its been real


Jamie Simmerman January 4, 2009 at 5:44 pm

God packed us a survival kit upon conception. He knows where we’re going and what we will face, and we come to the fight victorious before the punch is thrown. Lovin’ this quote today, buddy. Did you pull it out of your briefcase?

Jamie Simmerman´s last blog post..Moonlight and Murder


Sagan January 4, 2009 at 5:55 pm

That’s a great one. We make our own luck.


Davina January 4, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Hi Lance. This is oh so true. Not always easy, but would life be as interesting if it were easy? 🙂 As always, excellent choice for the photo and the quote this Sunday.

Davina´s last blog post..The Quote Effect: Naughty, Nice & Niche Bloggers


Laurie January 4, 2009 at 8:19 pm

“The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.”

This quote has some hard truth in it. So many times, we want from others what we can only get from ourselves, from myself. I want to be rescued, I want to be given a mathematical formula or a road map that will show me the way to get what or where I want. When in reality, we hold our own road map but sometimes it is buried along with the treasure and we’re not sure how to get to it. This is my # 1 struggle I think.


Jennifer January 4, 2009 at 8:22 pm

LOVE this quote Lance. Reminds me of some good Think and Grow Rich stuff…. Orison Swett Marden was good! We can learn a lot from him.

It is ONLY within us. I’m learning that more and more.

To what Tom has to say: I think it can go the others way ALSO. If we go within we can then feel free to let go of the outside distractions. It can go both ways.

Jennifer´s last blog post..Your Success is Just Around the Corner


bobbi January 4, 2009 at 8:32 pm

hmmm very interesting, makes me think of how much more time I need to spend in silence and prayer.

bobbi´s last blog post..His Vs Her’s


Lance January 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm

@Julie – I love the ostrich example – our head in the ground! Isn’t that sure it if we don’t spend some time looking within… This thought’s power is exactly in that it can be a wake up call to the importance of taking responsibility for ourselves.

@Ana – Yes, that’s it – we, ourselves, are in control of our destiny. And how we decide to understand ourselves can really play a key role in all of this…

@Jamie Simmerman – our God-given survival kit is within all of us – very, very awesome Jamie! The thing is, we have to look within to find it, don’t we. It’s there, we just might not always see it. Sounds exactly like my briefcase…

@Sagan – Yes, luck is what we make of any given situation or circumstance.

@Davina – Sometimes easy is nice…yet, you’re right – life is interesting because of the challenges we face. And how we deal with these really says a lot about us. And I really felt this photo and quote fit so well together – glad you did, as well.

@Laurie – Buried along with the treasure…Laurie, you’ve said this so well. That’s it! When we really get to the point of understanding yourself, truly understanding – treasure awaits! Yet, it’s not always easy getting to this spot, is it. Keep at it Laurie, it’s all there. In fact, I do believe you are well on your way down this road of discovery, more so than many others…

@Jennifer – Hey Jennifer, great point – this does fit well with so much of what Napoleon Hill wrote about. I’m learning too. And an interesting look at going within. I tend to think along similar thoughts at Tom talked about – removing outside distractions so you can look within. However, your point about going the other way – looking within, so you can feel free to let go of outside distractions – powerful. It is, because, sometimes we need to look within to really see what it is that matters to us, and what doesn’t. So, before we can eliminate something, we need to determine what that something is… Oh, that’s good Jennifer… I like that thought very much!

@Bobbi – And, hmmm…your comment reminds me that I definitely don’t spend enough time in silence and prayer. Prayer is a good point, Bobbi, because that is such a great way to connect with our inner being. Great reminder for all of us. Whether that’s prayer, meditation, silent quieting of our heart, speaking to a higher power, etc – this is important time for each of us…


Daphne January 4, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Lance, there you go again! 😉

Apt timing too. At the start of the new year, I was just thinking about the opportunities available to me and what’s stopping me from grabbing them. Maybe seeing the opportunity in the first place is also something that we have to look deep insides ourselves to do.

Daphne´s last blog post..Carnival of Personal Development Edition #3


Henie January 4, 2009 at 11:05 pm

It really is about the “I within”…that one on one truth with self…scary yes but that’s when you know you are in charge to charge and go for it! 🙂

Thanks for inciting deep thoughts, Lance!

Henie´s last blog post..Heart Start


Robin January 5, 2009 at 1:18 am

yep – ain’t it the truth. It’s both a daunting concept and very freeing, isn’t it?! When we acknowledge it, we take our power back.

Robin´s last blog post..What If? The Movie – Clip 4


meleah rebeccah January 5, 2009 at 1:26 am

I needed that. Thank You.

meleah rebeccah´s last blog post..Hello Internet!


Barbara Swafford - Blogging Without A Blog January 5, 2009 at 2:51 am

Hi Lance – Such an important quote. Too often it’s thought we can buy what we think will make us happy. This quote says it all. It’s ours for the taking. We just have to look inside.

Barbara Swafford – Blogging Without A Blog´s last blog post..Join Twitter – It’s Easier Than You Think


Lance January 5, 2009 at 3:18 am

@Daphne – Ha! I think you’re on to something here. Looking deep within, we have the opportunity to see what it is the really matters. Otherwise, aren’t we really chasing after things without really knowing why… Thank you, Daphne, for your insight on this!

@Henie – Thanks for stopping by Henie! Listening to our hearts and souls…when we do this, great things can happen. That “within” can be a scary place to venture to – yet if we really listen – we’ll find that scary is also exhilarating!

@Robin – Daunting and freeing — those are great words to describe it, Robin! And getting the power back – the power to be uniquely “us” is a great place to get to!

@Meleah – You’re welcome, Meleah.

@Barbara – Buying happiness…only to find out – it’s not enough. And then what? Buy more? This leads to a spiral of continuous searching for happiness through material objects. And in so doing, we never really know ourselves at our core. Thank you, Barbara!


Jenny Mannion January 5, 2009 at 7:14 am

Hi Lance,
Yes, the true beauty and power lies within. I am with Tom — it is cutting off the distractions and MAKING that time for yourself that is so important. I feel so much better and more centered when I have taken that half hour to myself and yet sometimes it is still “difficult” to tear myself away from all that I am working on to claim that time. An intention of mine for the year — for EVERY day. Thank you for the reminder! I always look forward to your Sunday quote of the week!

Jenny Mannion´s last blog post..Make Intentions Not Resolutions


suddenly slimmer January 5, 2009 at 7:17 am

Ah…Lance another great reminder even for me, which is come in the right time. Thank you. I love inspirational quotes and I love this quote.

suddenly slimmer´s last blog post..January 1, 2009


Jewel/Pink Ink January 5, 2009 at 7:22 am

I think some of the other things come into play, but I agree that ultimately, WE make our destiny.

Jewel/Pink Ink´s last blog post..Third Draft Done


Henie January 5, 2009 at 9:35 am

Hi again, Lance…

Just wanted to add my personal quote:
“If only I could photograph my soul, then eye would see the vivid colors of the tapestry within!”
~Henie Reisinger~

Have a fantastic day!

Henie´s last blog post..Heart Start


Lance January 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm

@Jenny Mannion – The pull in different directions, and managing that – a key point Jenny! It can be hard to break away and take that time for ourselves that we need to re-focus. Yet, if we don’t, who knows where we’ll end up.

@Suddenly Slimmer – Glad this was timed just right for you Alia. It’s a part of what makes doing this so gratifying for me personally.

@Jewel – Well, yes, you’re right Jewel. Our environment can paly a part, or how our “cards are dealt” – yet – in the end – it really is about how we, ourselves, handle all of this. And that’s where I see the real key to this is – some things we can’t control – one thing we can is ourselves…

@Henie – Now that’s a wonderful addition to the idea of looking within! Thank you, Henie, for sharing some of your own work here – it’s beautiful! And it shows me a person whose soul is the real you…


Jenny January 6, 2009 at 4:05 pm

But having the help of others isn’t a bad thing! Sometimes people can give you the kick in the pants you need, I’ve had it happen. I can say I can back up your quote though, although it may not be a golden opportunity, it is still an opportunity that I came to understand this weekend was in my control. Hopefully it goes well and things start looking up, I’m in dire need of it!

Jenny´s last blog post..My Christmas Spirit


Jamie | WiredParentPad January 9, 2009 at 9:41 am

I love this quote and the concept. It’s something that I’ve certainly struggled with, and something that a lot of people struggle with. I also think it’s something that comes with age. As I’ve gotten older and gained more of life’s experiences, this has kind of slapped me up side the head. I’m not going to wake up some day and have all of my dreams true and hardships taken care of – it all comes from within.

Jamie | WiredParentPad´s last blog post..8 Essential Text Shortcut Websites for Parents


Lance January 10, 2009 at 7:37 am

@Jenny – You’re right, the help of others is definitely not bad. I think what “golden opportunity” means to me is that we have within us, really within, the ability to accomplish whatever we desire. And that thought is golden, indeed!

@Jamie|Wired Parent Pad – So well said, Jamie! What we “really” desire does come from within, and we have to look for it – it’s not always going to just jump out and stare us in the face until we act…


Very Evolved January 10, 2009 at 7:46 pm

As a neuroscientist I can really get into this quote. The brain is such an amazing organ, with the ability to synthesize a complete world within the confines of your skull.
If you want to archive something in life and you can’t make it happen in your own grey matter landscape first, then it won’t happen in the outside world.


Very Evolved´s last blog post..How to generate an emotional response from your audience


snigdha January 14, 2009 at 3:03 am

Hi, Lance, that’s a powerful thought – which we forget too often ….a reminder that needs further reminders, off and on, to be reminded about the fact that, at the end, it is all about your own self – how you have measured up to your own self… how consciously and courageously you have been tapping what lies inside you. As some wise soul said… what we are deep within is God’s gift to us; what we become is our gift to God !! Let us grab each opportunity to be all that we can be! Not as easy as it sounds, though – but it’s worthwhile to work upon it continuosly !
Yeah, loved your interview with Daphne – very insightful. All the best.

snigdha´s last blog post..OF BUMBLE BEES AND ELEPHANTS


Lance January 14, 2009 at 4:06 am

@Very Evolved – Our brain is so powerful, isn’t it. It’s limited only by how we limit it! Yes, think it first, and then it can be so… Thanks for stopping by, Patrick!

@Snigdha – Wonderfully said! I love the idea of “deep within” being God’s gift to us, and what “we become” is our gift to God. Looking at it this way, don’t we really want to get in touch with the “deep within” in us, and then become what we can for the glory of God! Definitely not as easy as it sounds. And yet, it is so worth striving for! And, thank you in regards to the interview with Daphne – she really radiates joy!


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