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Week 24 – Happiness is worth the effort

Are you doing what you love? …. does your daily routine feel like a prison sentence, or do you bound out of bed in the morning excited to start the day.

Most people, we know,  live lives of quite desperation. never really getting out of neutral.
Some daydream of a different life … maybe someone else’s life. Some don’t know what there lives passion is … they just know this isn’t it.

What would you say (more importantly, what would you DO) if I told you, that you could start living a life of deep passion, doing what you love and loving what you do?
Would you want to know more? Would you take action on it?
Would it be Ok if I shared some thoughts on how to make that happen?

“We must act out passion before we can feel it.” ~Jean-Paul Sartre

Keep in mind that passion is not the product of wishing; it’s the product of doing. That’s what divides the world. There are those who wish and dream and never take their lives out of neutral. Then there are those who figure out what they want, shift into gear and hit the gas.

Deep down, who do you yearn to be?
Flashlights are meant to light up … the very reason for existing is to give light. If you throw it in a drawer and never pull it out, never use it for its intended propose  … batteries go stale … the bulb doesn’t work … its kind of sad.
It reminds me of people who place themselves and their passions in a drawer and never turn on their own lives. A person’s life is meant to be lit too.

What is the flame in your life? Is it lit? Is there light and heat? Or has the passion been allowed to go stale?
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~Nelson Mandela

Look at passion as though it were a living, breathing thing. If you feed it, it will grow and thrive and expand, filling your life with joy and happiness. If you don’t, it will eventually do what all living things do when they don’t get fed.

How sad is it to meet a musician who no longer plays music or a singer who doesn’t sing, or a dancer who doesn’t dance. Unmet and undiscovered passions are flames that are never lit and happiness that is never realized.

When you decide to move from neutral and put the foot on the gas, it doesn’t have to be pushed to the floor, just enough to move you forward and get your blood pumping a bit.
Turn on that light of purposeful living. Don’t wait. Start filling your life with whatever meaning and passion it lacks.

Everyday you don’t, you delay doing what you were created to do.
If you don’t know what excites you, that’s fine. I’ve rewritten my DMP 5 times (definate major purpose)Experiment! Pick something up and give it a try (artistic, expressive, athletic, entrepreneurial, technical, mechanic, spiritual, moral, developmental, whatever). If it doesn’t float your boat, set it down and try something else. If that doesn’t, try again.

Choosing to fill your life with what makes your heart beat will transform it. You will be filled with more energy and love and excitement. You will be driven to do and create and discover. You will feel the warm blood of purpose course through your veins, adding meaning and value to your life. You will be happier, more fulfilled, more in love with the life you lead.

Does the prospect of a more passion-filled life excite you? Enough to do something about it?
Some ideas to find your passion

1 – Determine what your “Personal Pivotal Needs” (PPN’s) are.
These will help you to focus your life’s purpose and direction. If you decide that what drives you is liberty and autonomy. It doesn’t make sense to make your passion owning a restaurant that will make neither of those things possible. The PPN’s will help to point the ship to the right port.
2 – Discover what makes you tick
So, what floats your boat? If you know, great! But if you don’t, you may find yourself living in the shadow of relentless sameness, spinning wheels, going nowhere, unfulfilled, unexcited, frustrated, bored.
If that’s the case, start exploring possibilities. Try new things. Talk to new people about what they love. Read. Learn. Discover. Make a list of interests or even potential interests and see if something stands out. As you expose yourself to opportunities and look into what’s out there, dive head first into what moves you.
Perhaps it’s business or sales or working with your hands or movie production or foster care or graphic design or marketing or acting or politics or blogging or martial arts or the cause of happiness. Doesn’t matter … you finding your passion might change the world … and if doesn’t it will at least change YOUR world.
I struggled with this mightily … first giving myself persimmon to want more from life, then trying to figure out what it was. And truth be told … right now I have a clear vision what it is but in a few years that may change. The important thing is to start the journey … get out of neutral.
3. Make a date with what you love to do
Make time for doing what moves you. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of doing all the things that have to get done, living paycheck to paycheck, always running, always behind, never really enjoying life, never having time to pursue your passion.
So schedule it! Calendar in park days, play dates, concerts, field trips to the Art Gallery, and how-to workshops and seminars. Schedule time to practice the guitar or climb a mountain or paint. Even if it’s only a few minutes here and there. Life is lived in the moments, so fill them with passion and your life will be more passionate.
You don’t have to get paid for it. You just have to do it. Set aside time when phones are turned off and email is ignored and purpose is fulfilled. Then as circumstances allow, stretch the moments.
4. Get help
Sometimes we have seemingly insurmountable obstacles that get in the way of pursuing new ideas and exploring possibilities. We tell ourselves it won’t work or that we wouldn’t be able to make it work even if in theory it otherwise would. We tell ourselves we’re too busy or it’s too expensive or we’re too old or too sick or lazy or tired or inadequate.
We fear taking that essential step and so we leave our lives unexplored, undiscovered, uncreated. We believe the lies we tell ourselves and so we stay in the shadow of our own lives. We leave the wick unlit. The purpose unsought. Passion unknown.
But that’s not what we’re all about. That’s not what life was created for. That’s not the life you were meant to live. You were meant to live a life of purpose and on purpose.
Sometimes we just need a good kick in the butt. If that’s all you need to take a step toward the unmet passions of your life, that’s awesome! Go get to the work of building a life you’re deeply happy about living.
But if you need more–a push, some direction, help, a community, a mentor and coach, I highly recommend creating a master mind, get a life/business coach. Or talk to someone who you see went through this process. You don’t have to go it alone.

Much Love.

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WEEK 23 – “To thy own self be true”

(This post is a little heavy … I know my posts usually have a little humour in them, but I’m starting to find this process of journaling very theriputic and I really appreciate having this sounding board … thanks for your comments)

As our time together is coming to and end soon, I’ve been meditating on what is the biggest lessons I’ve learned from the Master Keys.

If I’m being “honest” with myself (The irony will make senesce later) it’s that I haven’t always been honest with myself.  You see, I have enjoyed a modicom of success in my life … I have been to self help deals before … paid thousands of dollars to see “gurus” talk, been on weekend educational retreats, I own close to 100 books on the subject of improving myself,  (frankly NONE of them come close to the information we have received for the last 6 months.)  After all this time in reflection I can openly admit … I lie to myself constantly.

Let’s pause for a moment and talk about Honesty

What is honesty?

Honesty is the process of seeing, accepting and expressing our authentic, true self.
And this all starts with being honest with ourselves. Nothing is more important. All too often, we fall into the trap of deceiving ourselves  by trying to justify our behaviour.

The real enemy behind being  dishonest is fear. Until we face our fears, our rationalization for being dishonest sticks around. It’s a slippery slope. We loose our integrity. We begin to lie, we begin to rationalize, we begin to deceive others, and we begin to act on the impulses of envy, greed and manipulation.

We may think we are getting away with it because we are not getting caught in the act by others, but we are getting caught every single time by ourselves. And we experience the internal consequences every time. Our own minds know when we are not acting with integrity.

And the turmoil of not living in alignment with our true authentic self ensures that we can not have inner peace.

All dishonesty is a form of self sabotage in the long run. By not building our lives around a skeleton of integrity, we cut our self off from who we really are and the result is that our true spirit fades away. We loose our self.

If we desire to live a life which we enjoy, if we desire to live the life that we intended to live by coming here in the first place, we need to learn how to express who it is that we truly are in every single moment.

We must first lie to our selves before we can lie to others, because of this we need to be brave enough to ask ourselves what we are so afraid will happen if we are 100% honest with ourselves and others.

Honesty never feels bad. What feels bad are the conclusions we draw about (and judgments we cast on) our honesty.

Those of us who are aware that our minds create our reality, often find ourselves at an impasse when it comes to honesty. On one hand it is true that whatever you focus on…you get more of and that if you want to live a different life, you have to tell a different story relative to your life.

I’ve realized that  I have lied to myself almost everyday.   I’ve ignored my true bliss for most of my life.  When I have allowed myself to think about it I quickly pushed it out of my mind and would lie to myself again “that is impossible, stop day dreaming about a fantasy that will never happen”  I convinced myself that I needed to be a good provider, that I can always make up for the time away from family tommorow. I told myself that my purpose was to make a better life for my kids … all the while being miserable.  I was afraid of telling myself the truth, that I’m allowed to be happy, that I can be the best provider ever but if I’m not leading by example, by living a life of purpose …them I’m really doing them a disservice.  

I’ve also told myself that I always gave my best effort, when the truth is because my heart was not fully invested in my endeavours …  I fake it.  I’ve managed to get by on a little charm , and a great ability to cram.  I lied to myself that “l’ll do the best I can”  but never doing my best. Tomorrow has always been the saving grace.

Well, time to face the music … no more lie’s, I will never tell myself a lie again.

I was created on purpose, and for a purpose.

I am natures GREATEST miracle  DAM IT!! And I NEED to live each day as if it my last.

That is the greatest gift I can give myself and my kids.

WEEK 22A – “Can we have a moment of silence please”

“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation…tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a grey vegetation.” ― Jean Arp … written in 1957

When was the last time you went two full days without saying a single word? Without the distractions of phones, email, texting, work or anything else that occupies  you and your mind?

I recently had they chance to complete our latest assignment of 2 days of complete silence.   I decided the only way to really experience it would be to go into the mountains and isolate myself from everyone.

I learned a lot about myself and how I think. I learned how uncomfortable I can be without the “fluff” I have managed to fill my mind with.  I learned that when you have the quiet, and the calm, when you aren’t on auto pilot, you can get some good thinking in.  Your thoughts slow down, you can really meditate on the simplest things.

After finishing my time in silence I thought about how I would like this to become a regular part of my routine.  And I wanted to justify to myself, why taking the time was so important.  So here goes.

Silence and reflection is essential. A car engine needs to be cooled down, especially after a long or hard drive. We should give our minds the same opportunity. Scheduled periods of reflection, need to be apart of our day.  We are convinced that everything  is needed NOW. We are plugged in 24/7. Getting a chance to recharge the batteries is important for long term engine health.

We are living by the clock. I think I was about halfway through the first day before I stopped looking at my watch every 15 minutes.  Time seemed to be going by at a snails pace.  I was fidgeting  the whole time.  Finally, about dinner time,  I stopped thinking about the time and about what I really wanted out of the experience.  We obviously have some time constraints in day to day lives, but after this experience, I am going to spend less time worrying about what time it is and more time thinking about how I’m spending that time.

Simple is better.  Out in the middle of no where, I started thinking about all the writers I admire so much, and the things they were able to accomplish.   I realized that the greatness came from the lack of distractions. Slowing down. Devoting themselves to a singleness of purpose, and enjoying the simple pleasures of mindfulness. They were called recluses, hermits.  But It was in their isolation that their works of art emerged.  They showed that there is a different, and perhaps better, way to live.  One that focuses on the truly important things in life.

WEEK 22 – The cycle of anger

blog anger.001

 We have all done it … or heard it done.

A kid who is in trouble, and trying to avoid being punished says “I didn’t do it .. Jonny did it!!!”.  And the worst part is we/they did this even when it was obvious that we/they were the guilty one.

Now let’s ask ourselves …. Have we outgrown this tactic as adults?? Do we pass the buck.  Well, it was time for me to be honest with myself and had to ask some tough questions … this post may not sit well with you either, but as Davene likes to say “time to put your big boy pants on”.  Projecting our mistakes onto other people or circumstances and blaming everyone but ourselves, might feel good at the time.  It protects our ego, but what is the fall out??

A great deal of the anger we feel is motivated by a desire not to experience guilt—and beyond this, the distressing emotions of hurt and fear.

Anger, is almost never a primary emotion. For underneath anger is feelings like, unimportant, accused, guilty, untrustworthy, devalued, rejected, powerless, and unlovable.

Anger, really, is just sadness turned inward,

And all of these feelings are capable of creating considerable emotional pain. So its understandable that we can go to great lengths to avoid feeling these things.

In fact I think we can get so good at using anger as a buffer from these other emotions that we can fool ourselves, even lying to ourselves, that it becomes real.  Anger creates adrenaline, and adrenaline can even feel good (for a moment). We can get addicted and attached to those feelings. (neropeptides remember those??)

This is really how all negative emotions work. They allow us to escape shameful thoughts , anxiety, and even guilt. At least they have the potential to do that, before we learned these skills over the last 6 months

Lets give a real world example.  Your Wife/husband/coworker says something hurtful or thoughtless.  You have choice; you could boldly share your feelings, show your vulnerability and possibly risk opening yourself up to more assaults …

or you can ATTACK … find something … anything really  … “why don’t you pick up your stuff” … “remember that time 12 years ago when you said ….”  “oh man , your just like your mother”. We use these things  to counter punch and attack with.

What we are basically doing, unconsciously, is trying to make them feel hurt, or really hurt them back. Tit for tat. Verbal Blow for blow. And while we are on this rampage, guess what happens?? you guessed it … you no longer feel hurt, rejected, or guilty … for the time being at least, (until you realize what you’ve done). And this continues the childish behaviour we mentioned at the outset “No you did it!! not me”

And now the person you’ve just unloaded on is left holding the bag of unwanted feelings. You have managed to transfer whatever feelings of hurt you were having back to them … “congratulations  jackass… you win”.   

or did you??

Now they have a choice … Fight or flight

The most primal of all instincts …. by being the lighting rod of your anger they now will either: attack back … continuing and possibly escalating the anger between the two of you … or they will unconsciously believe you wish to do them harm and back away from you. Stop talking to you and avoid you altogether.  Which does nothing to solve the issue that started the whole thing in the first place.

So, to change what can be a never-ending vicious cycle, it’s absolutly crucial to understand not only what caused the anger but also its detrimental effects.

Ultimately, feeling hurt—and then acting out a compulsion to retaliate in kind—is really childish … and quite frankly after all that we learn in the last 6 months … beneath us.

In such cases, can we learn how to hold onto our most rational adult self and “process”—internally—what’s happening inside our head?

And to do this before we alleviate our feelings of guilt, hurt, or fear by turning them into anger?

I don’t know … But I’m working on it.  I’m natures greatest miracle and I’m making the conscious decision right now to “STOP THE MADNESS” and go make the peace.

Even if it was her fault 🙂

WEEK 21 – You gotta believe !!!

My kids are really into Star Wars.  I love it because it’s the perfect example of the Hero’s Journey. (that’s for another Blog Post) I was trying to help them appreciate the symbolism of the movie and while I was looking at the blank stares from a 8 and 5 year old … I realized there was another lesson that applied to this weeks readings.  We read about how Big ideas are no more difficult to accomplish than the small ones, and that we will limit our belief in the Big idea simply because …. its big.

You might remember this scene in the clip above where Luke Skywalker was trying to use the ‘force,’ to get his plane out of a swamp.

Luke told Yoda he would try and guess what … he failed.

Just this one scene has so many parallels to what we are learning.

  • Luke is easily distracted.
  • He’s reminded that he has to unlearn all he has learned (New Blueprint)
  • Thinks the size (big idea) limits his abilities
  • Thinks “trying his best” is good enough.
  • Again with the limiting beliefs!!  “You ask the impossible”
  • Yoda shows that no idea is “Too Big” –
  • “I don’t believe it“ …. “that is why you fail” … He was yet to change his world within … Nothing can ever be created without first seeing it and believing it in our minds.

Wow all that packed into a 4 min clip.

I could go on but I’ll focus on just one of these areas as it relates to this weeks lesson.

A football coach of mine used to say all the time. “There is no A for effort.”

I grew up. like many. with the belief that trying my best was good enough. My parents unknowingly gave the wrong advise … “just do your best son .. what’s important is that you try, there is no shame in failing if you try hard”

While I’m glad my parents didn’t want me to sit back and not participate, and I know they had good intentions.  What they unwittingly did was set the stage for and make it OK to fail. That door was always open, as long as you give it the good old collage try … all is forgiven.

However, I have learned in 20 years of being in business and in dealing with people, and in coaching … that there is a strong connection between these two quotes. “There is no A for effort” really means it is all about the results you achieve and it is not about the attempt and to Yoda’s point, trying is merely an attempt … “Do, or do not … There is no try”.

To get things done and get the results you want and excel at them, you need skills … but more importantly you need to believe you can do it.

“Trying” is a self-limiting belief.  After Luke attempted and failed, Yoda did it no problem … all 2 foot 4 inches of him … 657 years old. He could of used any number of excuses why he couldn’t do it.

When Yoda was finished, Luke said, “I don’t believe it.” and Yoda’s says, “That is why you fail.”  

It’s all about “Believing” man.  It’s so powerful. When you believe you can achieve something, no matter how Big, you will commit to do whatever is necessary to make it happen. You will learn what you need to learn. You will commit whatever time is necessary and you will seek out help when needed. Because your belief is so strong, you will access whatever resources are necessary to make it happen and you will not stop til its done.

Don’t believe me?  How does a 6 year kid with no money, and no resources, and no experience wake up one morning and just decide she’s going to raise a huge amount of money for Cancer resource?…  This kid is literally changing the world.  The belief was larger than the challenge.  Amazing!!!

Warning: I can’t watch this without tearing up

An attitude of trying will never propel you to take the extra step because your rip cord of “I tried” gives you permission to stop short based on what is believed to be a good enough effort. People and businesses often fall short due to this simple but powerful belief. I mentioned earlier that belief is powerful.Whether you believe in mediocrity or results, you will get whichever one you believe in.

I’m a bit of a Shakespeare geek … One of my favorite quotes is

“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” – William Shakespeare

Yoda also told Luke to “unlearn what you have learned.” This new Blueprint is not easy … you gotta want it bad dude!!. Here are some ideas from the Master Keys that can help us all.

  • positive affirmations … multiple times a day. (Index cards)
  • Surround yourself with positive people who will push you to excel and hold you accountable. (Master Mind)
  • Find a mentor who has walked the road you are trying to traverse and become a sponge.
  • Learn, Learn. Learn and then learn some more.
  • Surround yourself with positive messages. – (Vision Board)
  • Remove the naysayers in your life. … Tell people you find the word “can’t” offensive. The energy suckers from your life will either figure it out, or won’t want to be around you, (beautiful!!)because you will remind them of everything they are not.

Much Love !!!

A huge Apology: to MY Blog Team and followers

A quick Hello to everyone who reads this Blog … Particularly the Folks who are on my MKMMA Blog team.

I’ve been travelling quite extensively the last few weeks and have been doing my Blog and comments on my iPad Offline.  I assumed that when I re-conected to the internet that all my work would be uploaded and shared with you. I  realized last week that it did not and now some of it is lost.  I am working diligently to correct it and get all my requirements back up and running.  I appreciate your patience and look forward to your comments, which I enjoy immensely.  

Weeks 17, 17HJ, 18 are now up …. Thanks again!!!

Week 20 – Your gonna get your mind right boy

You might find this hard to believe … based on my incredible charisma and boyish good looks (massive sarcasm) but when I was a young kid I was the special target of bully’s in school.  I moved around a lot and was always the new kid, so I was fresh meat, easy prey.  And I didn’t do a very good job sticking up for myself.  One day I came home in tears and wrote on my binder:  “I hate these kids.  They make me feel like a such a loser.”

The next day, my Grandad crossed out what I wrote and replaced it with this:  “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.

I remember that day vividly, it was the day I stopped giving other people permission to make me feel a certain way.

It isn’t easy to remain positive when negativity surrounds you.  We can defend ourselves against all kinds of negativity.  We participated in the 7 day mental diet, (which I cheated on several times).  It was a wonderful reminder that dispite what we tell ourselves … WE are in control.  No one can make you feel anything … you are in the drivers seat.

I’ve learned many valuable lessons in the last 20 weeks of this program (and some from my Grandad) … and some on my own. There are things we can do to protect ourselves and make this an easier journey.

Below you will find 5 things I have found to help free me from the grips of negativity.

I have so much to be grateful for. – Most people make there happiness dependent on things going right all the time.  The truth is … they don’t.  If you don’t stop and smell the roses and take inventory of all the amazing things you have going on, its easy to loose site of them. Happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but of appreciating everything we do have.  Stop what your doing right now and find something to be thankful for … (Like this Blog :).

I have the power to make the world a better place. – Help one person every day in some small way.  By helping other people with their problems, it has a way of shrinking our problems to a point where they are so insignificant or at the very least more manageable.

Everything I feel is simply the result of my thinking. – It has now been proven that “feelings” follow thoughts. How you feel is a direct result of what you are dwelling on.  So listen to that voice inside your head.  If its cynical, pessimistic, negative, morose, well ten its no wonder you feel like crap!! Happiness starts with you – not with your mate, not with your job, not with how much money you have, but WITH YOU.  We can’t always control our circumstances, but we can ALWAYS control our attitude.  Remember, you can’t have a positive life with a negative attitude.  When negativity controls your thoughts, it limits your behaviour, actions, and opportunities.  If you realized how powerful your thoughts were, you would never dwell on a negative thought again.

Who are you spending time with?.“If you want to sore with the eagles, don’t be hanging with the turkeys”  That one was from may Grandad too … Surround yourself with people who lift you up – those who see the great potential in you, even when you don’t see it in yourself.

Hard work is always worth the effort. – Time lost is time lost. It’s gone forever. Some people tell themselves that they will work twice as hard tomorrow to make up for what they did not do today. People should always do their best. If they work twice as hard tomorrow, then they should have also worked twice as hard today. That would have been their best.” — John Wooden

This months scroll in the Greatest Salesman has been without a doubt, the most eye opening and compelling thing I’ve read.  It was like having a serious chat with my Grand Father, that talk you always dreaded.  The one where you’ve disappointed him, but he see’s enough potential in you to help you push past your area’s of weakness. I may read this one scroll everyday for the rest of my life. I’ve accomplished some pretty cool things in my life, despite having this affliction.

I have but one life and life is naught but a measurement of time. When I waste one I destroy the other. If I waste today I destroy the last page of my life. Therefore, each hour of this day will I cherish for it can never return. It cannot be banked today to be withdrawn on the morrow, for who can trap the wind? Each minute of this day will I grasp with both hands and fondle with love for its value is beyond price. What dying man can purchase another breath though he willingly give all his gold? What price dare I place on the hours ahead? I will make them priceless!

I will live this day as if it my last.

I will avoid with fury the killers of time. Procrastination I will destroy with action;doubt I will bury under faith; fear I will dismember with confidence. Where there are idle mouths I will listen not; where there are idle hands I will linger not; where there are idle bodies I will visit not. Henceforth I know that to court idleness is to steal food, clothing, and warmth from those I love. I am not a thief. I am a man of love and today is my last chance to prove my love and my greatness. – Greatest Salesman

Loose the expectation that everything in life should be easy.  It rarely is.  In fact, there are never any shortcuts. Enjoy the challenge of your achievements.  See the value in your efforts and be patient with yourself.  And realize that patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams.  It’s knowing deep down that the work is well worth it in the end.

Thanks Granddad … love ya lots  … wish you were still here 🙂

Week 19 – The beatles had it right

 

We’ve been taking about kindness and observing it others for last dew weeks. The coolest observation I had was that all this kindness was there along, most of us just don’t take the time to notice it.

The space between us is actually a lot closer than people think.

I was watching this documentry “i am”  for some reason made me think of this song from the Beattles.

 

We were talking-about the space between us all

And the people-who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion

Never glimpse the truth-then it’s far too late-when they pass away.

We were talking-about the love we all could share-when we find it

To try our best to hold it there-with our love

With our love-we could save the world-if they only knew.

Try to realize it’s all within yourself

No-one else can make you change

And to see you’re really only very small,

And life flows ON within you and without you.

We were talking-about the love that’s gone so cold and the people,

Who gain the world and lose their soul-

They don’t know-they can’t see-are you one of them?
When you’ve seen beyond yourself-then you may find, peace of mind, Is waiting there-

And the time will come when you see
we’re all one, and life flows on within you and without you.

I have to be honest … I always thought of this song as silly and would click “next” when it came up on my iPod.  But when you read the lyrics, they have it bang on.

Still can’t quite get down with that Sitar though 🙂

Week 18 – Kindness is Everywhere … you just have to stop and look.

If we are honest with ourselves for most of our life we weren’t really sure what really makes us happy. We think we do, its only in hindsight that we realize we were wrong. Do the Math … 365 days a year times roughly 80 years = approx. 30,000 total days to live.   We sacrifice and give so many of our 30,000 days for something that we believe will offer happiness – the money, the job title, the house, the new car – then we find out it was a sham … that thrill of the chase is followed by disappointment and an emptiness, and we keep reaching for the next “prize”.

Neuroscience is now teaching us things that can bring real happiness in our daily lives.  Actually all it’s doing is confirming what we all ready know deep in our bones to be true.

I know its crazy … but it seems that being kind to others makes us happy.

You know the feeling you get when you give a gift … even a compliment  or a kind gesture.  That look in their eye that tells you they truly appreciate it.  That is an amazing feeling, one that can keep you going for days!! So it turns out that being nice to others is also being kind to yourself.   This wonderful little cycle of joy that we create.

This is an amazing video shows some simple acts of kindness. This was recorded from dashboard surveillance cameras, Russian drivers have had the opportunity to record some memorable moments, where people help each other and help other species too. It’s so heart touch­ing. I can’t watch this without getting a little misty … no small feat for a RED …

I dare you to watch this and not feel motivated to go out and do something nice for someone.

Have a break. Enjoy this

week 17 – What will they say about your dash

A_tombstone_with_Sue_Rangell's_name_on_it_(joke)

 How Do You Live Your Dash?

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning….. to the end
He noted he first came to her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years. (1900 – 1970)

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on this earth…
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own:
The cars…the house…the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard….
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider whats true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile….
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy’s being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

We were given this exercise to read the obituaries everyday.  It had to be in a real newspaper not online.  At first I thought I knew why were were doing it.  I said “Ok Mark, I get it… Og’s book (Greatest Salesman) “Live each day as if it’s our last” … I get it .  But then a funny thing happened.

As I’m reading these obits of people I don’t know, and the comments from family, I started thinking about the people .  What did they dream about? Did they accomplish what they wanted? Did they love someone? Did anyone really love them?  What were their passions? Did they ever make a impression on anyone? Did they change anyones life for the better? For the worse?

You really start to see how fragile life is, how precious it is … how you really can’t waste a moment, not a single moment.  Because it truly could be your last day.  Then I came across this.

obits kid

Some one so young … just getting started.

And you  begin to really appreciate all the days you have had since being this age …. how many have I wasted in trivial pursuits? How many have I let slip past by not challenging myself, by not bettering myself?

It’s true what we have learned from Hennel that once a mind has been stretched with a new understanding it cannot return to its original shape.  I see this reminder as an opportunity … not to try and make up for the past, because the sands of times can not flow up in the hour glass, but to pledge to make each day something I can be proud of.  What a wonderful experience.