Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. Muhammad Ali 1942 to 2016
When you read that quote what do you think of as service? Is it your job? Your business? The charity you support? The “good works” that you do? Is service to others something you have to think about and plan into your week? Do you even believe that it is a requirement of us living in our society here on earth? I just love this thought espoused by one of the “greatest” (yes I know he said he was the greatest!).
I am going to keep this fairly short today. Service to others is actually a life-style choice in my view. It is not something we do for credits or to just do our share. If service to others is to be the rent we pay, it needs to be constant and unthinking, just like “living” is. The act of living is pretty much unconscious. The way we live is a whole other thing.
Choose to live a life of service. Simply, to me, this means to help others to the level that you can help them and that they are willing and able to accept. Do not look for recognition or even thanks. Just do it.
Take a look back at something I wrote a while ago. Happiness is connected to what we do. It is not about service but it will help a bit to refocusing I think. We are responsible for what we do and especially how we react to what happens to us or around us. Remember, when it feels right or good you are doing the right thing. It feels great to serve others so – serve!
Think positive. Be positive. Hold the image of what you really want in your mind and it will manifest. Imagine. And so on … These are the sorts of things that we are advised to do and they are all great. But, it will not be enough to build the life we really, really, really, really,REALLY want. We have to be On Purpose. We need to have a plan and actually do things.
Let me set out a few steps to get this week off to a great start. First of all, Prepare. Simply, that means clear the decks and get ready. As basic as clearing and organizing your space around you. Your desk, your office/room, even your car. It might not feel like it but these things are weighing on your brain and keeping you from being at your peak.
Then Plan. Start with exactly what it is that you want to achieve. Do you really believe that you can do it? As a friend once said to me a very long time ago, “Dream Big, the amount of work to get there is about the same and if you fall just a bit short you are still a very long ways along the road to what you set out for”. Try! So, write down exactly what it is that you want to achieve. What is the first step that you must take? And the next? If you are not even sure of the things that need to be done, talk to someone who has done it. Do some research to see what it might take to get to where you want to be. Write down all the action steps that you need to take. Organize them in chronological order as best you can.
And finally, Perform. Most of the time we are told to set a date by which we want to achieve something. I like that but it is actually much more important to set a time to actually start! Look at your list of action items and set a start date for as many as you reasonably can. Set the start time for at least one action for right now! And, as Anthony Robbins would say, take massive action.
We are most happy when we are working towards a worthwhile goal. Especially when that goal aligns with our purpose and values. We feel good when our surroundings are pleasant and organized. It all comes down to “Be the Best You” you can be. Live well, love always and laugh out loud everyday!
There have always ways been different opinions about almost everything. Probably from the best way to approach a mastodon in order to kill it for food for the others, to the best way to use social media to market an idea. But, as you can see from my hint about social media, these days we are absolutely bombarded with statements that purport to be the real truth.
Social media is all pervasive, but only if we let it be. We do have choices to make. And this takes me back to an article that I posted way back in 2009. The irony is not lost on me but GIGO is worth another read. Then we were being bombarded with all sorts of negative, violent and confrontational stuff in the news and on social media. My advice then was to unplug for a while and focus on yourself and your immediate family and friends. Pay attention to what you really want in your life.
Way back in 1956 Earl Nightingale produced an amazing record called “The Strangest Secret”. That secret was relevant then, as it has been all through history, and as it is today. It is quite simply ‘we become what we think about’. We need to take a minute out of our hectic lives and just think about that. What are YOU thinking about? What are you focused on? What is at the top of your mind? It matters. If it is always checking on the craziness of the next tweet from that person, you will be growing feelings of ridicule, resentment, anger, despair and so on. If you are hoping for more money because you do not have enough, the main thought there is that you do not have enough and that grows.
I recently realized that I was not really much engaged in life and was just treading water. I put out the thoughts that I wanted to be doing more and being more active in the community. I did not know what that would mean but wow! Within the same week I was invited to a general meeting of a Riding Association and became a Board member with a specific responsibility that will certainly broaden my knowledge, horizon and connection to my community. In addition, I was invited to be part of starting a business venture. Careful what you think about because things happen. 🙂
What I want to recommend to you is that you pull back just a bit and focus on what you can control. About the only thing you can really control is what you think about. We have heard it said that live is about 90% what happens to us and 10% of how we respond/react to the things that happen to us. Get out front and start thinking about what you really, really, really, REALLY want. We want world peace because we will be safer. We want more money because we want to help others and to provide comfort and security to our family. We want safety and security where we live. But, overall, we REALLY want to be happy! Anyway! So focus your thoughts on contentment, happiness and inner peace. My partner always says “prepare for the worst but plan for the best”. In other words, know what the worst can be, acknowledge it briefly and then let it go and focus on the best.
Procrastination has become a problem for me since I have unlimited and unstructured time available. We have heard for all our lives how work expands to fill the available time. What I did not realize was that anything will expand to fill the available time. Like checking out your social network accounts, like checking out just one more news media outlet, like reading just one more chapter (or six) in that book you are reading. You get the picture. Classic procrastination!
Now you might think that it is not really a problem because you really have nothing else pressing to do. But in my case I am growing so lethargic. At the end of the day I do not feel like I have done anything. But I was having trouble figuring out just what to do to break the cycle. There really are things I want to get done if I can only …
This is where a very timely article presented itself to me. The teacher appeared just when this student was ready. I read an article about productivity shortcuts written by Derek Doepker (@ExcuseProof) In it he suggests procrastinators use these magic words: “Can I just …”. In my case it has started me one a new road (actually it has helped put me back on the road I have been on most of my life). That is the road to getting things done! And feeling accomplished at the end of the day! Happy!
Can I just write one more blog entry? Can I just spend the next 25 minutes going through the things on my desk and throwing away what is not needed, filing what needs to be filed and putting things back where they belong? Can I just do cardio workouts every second day for the next two weeks? And so on. I am back to using my self management techniques that I had let slide because I thought I did not need them. I am back to feeling accomplished and productive. Even if I am not doing work in the traditional sense, I am happy anyway.
What about you? Can’t seem to break the procrastination blocker? Try it! When you are facing some challenge, break it down to a smaller bite and ask yourself: “Can I just …”
Ah the start of a new year! A time when we have reflected on the happenings of the past year, considered various shortcomings in our life, and made a number of promises to ourselves (resolutions – the infamous resolutions!) to do in the coming year. Of course we will lose a bit of weight; get more fit; plan my weeks more diligently; be more patient with family, friends and colleagues; get that promotion; visit …… well you get the idea.
Our reflections typically seem to focus on what went wrong in the past year. Those sorts of memories often stick in our mind because they are linked to strong emotions. It is normal and natural but I urge you to keep the perspective of “that was then, this is now, now what”.
Make sure you focus on the great times and victories of the past year. Get those positive memories firmly to the front of the brain as you get ready to contemplate the coming year. Now you are ready to address the all-important “now what”.
Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
Joseph Addison – 1672–1719 writer.
How great is that as a guide to get ready for the coming year! What are you going to do? Who will you extend your love to? And, underpinning everything, what are your hopes? Hope is a key to “Being Happy Anyway“.
Hope keeps your spirits up through the tough times we all have. We hope for an end to the problem. We hope for better health or the strength to handle whatever it is that we have been handling. We sometimes hope others will change. Rather we need to focus on managing our own reactions and being happy anyway. It is a choice.
So Happy New Year. Choose hope and happiness. Enjoy the good, learn from the not so good, and look forward with great hope for”now what“.
Above all, remember to live well, love always and laugh out loud every day!