Live Well

The new year has commenced and lots of us have thought about and maybe even made some resolutions for the year. I have always encouraged folks to only share “move up” resolutions and not to share “give up” resolutions. Not for any other reason than people most often are quick to point out when you are not living up to your resolution. It is a good thing to have folks help us to remember to get back to the “move up” resolution. However, we don’t need to hear about how we are failing at giving up that “give up” resolution. We would feel bad, get defensive and then sooner than later, abandon our efforts.

How does that relate to Live Well? What I want us to think about early this year is to remember to LIVE. Not to just exist from one day to the next or to just get by. Rather, let’s live well. Be aware of what is happening and look for the “neatness” in it. We are enjoying our lives for a finite amount of time and we don’t have any real idea of how much time that is. So, why not make the conscious choice to live well, i.e.. fully? Go out with those friends for a snack. Take a walk in the absolutely freezing weather (for goodness sakes though be sure to dress warmly :-p). Stop everything for a few minutes and have a totally “do nothing” break. Clear away the clutter and enjoy the surroundings. Write that letter (or article or email) that you have been thinking of doing but have not quite gotten around to.

Use the good china. Use the new towels. Wear the good clothes even on the weekend. And, do it now. Tell the ones you love that you love them! I do mean to tell them. If you have had some sort of argument or disagreement, set it aside or make it right in some way as soon as you can. We don’t want to be stuck with the memory of harsh words as our last words with someone.

Live well. Enjoy. We live on one world! Peace! Love! Joy! Happiness!

Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day. 🙂

Year end. Year ahead.

This is the time of the year that we see all the clever recaps and look-backs of the year that is coming to a close. We do that as well. We look back at our year and remember the things we did and the things that happened to and around us.

You are probably recalling the bad stuff that happened to and around you. Not to worry – that is natural. Not too good for the feelings of happiness that we want but it is something we do and need to handle. Go ahead. Recall those things. They did happen (if you just think they happened but there is no evidence – reject it! It is imaginary). But, let them go. There is not a single thing you can do to make it so that those things did not happen. That was then, this is now.

Next recall the things that were good that occurred to and around you during the past year. Of course there were things! Bring them clearly to your mind. Focus on these things. What was good about them? How did you feel? How do you feel now while thinking about them? This feels better than thinking about the bad stuff right? So, choose! Focus your memory on the good stuff.

If some of the bad things have left consequences that you are dealing with now, that is just the way life works. We are where we are and we, again, have an opportunity to make choices. Choose to look at the good around you right now, figure out what you need to do to adjust to the current stuff, make plans to do what needs to be done and get started right now with the first step! (Well you can start after you finish reading this if you like. ;-))

Part of the year-end review should include a review about how you have done on your objectives (goals), both short term and long term. Did you achieve all? Of course not. Are the goals you have not met yet still important? If the answer is “not so much”, drop them from your list of things you want to achieve. If yes, carry them forward to next year. Next, what do you really, really, really, REALLY want to get done in the next 12 months? Make a list. Include the goals that are still important from last year.

Look at that list. Are there priorities that stand out for you? List that one first. What do YOU need to do to make that happen? Make a full list. Now put those things in the order that they will have to be done. Those are the steps that you can take that will lead to the achievement of that objective or goal (and a happy feeling next December when you review the year again. :-)). Do that for the next most important objective or goal you want to make sure comes about for you over the next year. And so on.

Print those lists out and keep them where you sit to do your planning for the month, week and day. Fit those steps that you can do into each area. Do one of those things right now! As Tony Robbins says: “take massive action”. Do! Act!

Continue to live well, love always and laugh out loud every day. Have a great year ahead. May it be the best yet!

Freedoms

“Freedom of action, freedom of expression. And that means the freedom to express your opinion, not the freedom to hurl crude insults at those who think differently, though these days some people don’t seem to know the difference. As far as I am concerned, that kind of abuse has nothing to do with freedom.”

From: “The Tulip Virus” by Danielle Hermans, translated from the Dutch language by David MacKay. Published in 2008 and translated in 2010.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way…every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom.”

Viktor Frankl

“Our lives begin to end
The moment we stay Silent
about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King

I am reminded of my freedoms and my inner voice reminds me that our freedoms mean nothing if we do not live freely. We are free to differ with each other but do it with respect, if not for the person, then at least for the right of that person to have a different opinion. When we differ, persuasion is the key to resolve the differences. And if persuasion based on rational (to you) arguements fail to convince then we must simply agree to disagree and move on to find common ground. Bullying and abuse of power only generates hard barriers, resentment and hatred.

I lived a life dedicated to making changes that would make life more equitable and fair for all. Obviously there is still lots to be done. But we always remained civil, peaceful and calm. And big changes happened. We did not let demagogues control us. Our minds remained free to adopt and live the lives we had the right to live. When we saw an injustice, we spoke up and took action.

Don’t complain and take no action. Speak up and persuade. Live and let live – and if possible, help others along the way. “We are not here to see through others, we are here to see each other through.” And finally, live well, love always and laugh out loud every day.

What’s your music?

What music do you listen to?  Do you choose it or do you just listen to random music? Do you even listen to music or do you only listen to talk radio or the like? This is important! It is along the lines of GIGO.

You really can change your mood and move back to “happy”. Having a tough day? Nothing going quite right? Are you being “sharp” with people around you? As soon as you notice and acknowledge – take a “sanity break”. You need a bit of time to regain perspective.

Here is where most of us are told to meditate for a while and to unplug. But we can’t! We just don’t have the strength right now to calmly meditate. I have another suggestion that is based on neuroscience, works, and is easy to do. Just put on some music and listen to it for a while.

But, not just any music! Think about the music you listened to when you were happiest. This is trigger music and will trigger the emotions you felt and feel when that music is played. Prepare a playlist on your device that you can plug your earbuds or headphones into and walk around with. Be selective and positive here. Remember, GIGO.

OK – now when you recognize that you are really down, give yourself permission to take a “happiness break”, get your device with your “happy time” playlist, your earphones or earbuds and take a walk – listening to your music.

Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day. And, listen to your happy times music. 🎶😎

 

Service

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!