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!

Decide to Try!

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!

 

 

 

Happiness is connected to what we do – always!

Life is happening all around us all the time. Some good, some bad and lots of seemingly no moment at all. All of this is not what we do but what is done to and around us. So how can we be “happy anyway”?

I posit that it is all about what WE do. If we fall into a funk and think about how “bad” it is, we will feel “funky”. If we look around for blame, we will feel “blamey”. If we feel that life is just conspiring against us we will feel “conspired against”.

Let’s look at who or what is responsible for what we do. Is our boss responsible for what we do when he/she makes impossible demands or levels unfair criticism? Not really. It is our reaction that is all about what we do. We can recognize the impossibility of the assignment and make a concerted effort to show the impossibilities and, more importantly, the possibilities instead. Sometimes we need to consider the unfair criticism and just look for the lessons. Maybe how not to be like the unreasonable boss. Maybe to just file it away and move on. In other words, we are responsible for what we do. So act positively, be assertive, and act! Do not just feel put upon – act and do something.

What about circumstances? Sometimes things just happen TO you. The car doesn’t work. The basement floods. The power goes out. Someone cuts you off dangerously in traffic. It pours rain just when you are taking the family out for a picnic. Most of this sort of thing is beyond your control. So – what should we DO? Just make a choice to consider alternatives right away instead of lapsing into “poor me” feelings. Sometimes it is just a matter of looking at the situation and seeing the humour. The person who cut you off in traffic must have a wonderful assignation to get to! 🙂 Have a picnic in the rain anyway!

So what do we mean when we say that happiness is connected to what we do? Simply it is that if we do positive – we get positive. Is what we are doing contributing to our happiness? It is still always about choices. If we have a boss that really is just an impossible person you must choose to change your boss. Be grateful that you have a job and income but look for ways to change the boss. Maybe find a way to be your own boss (start a business). When circumstances happen, learn to be grateful that they are not worse (they can always be worse) and that you can see a way to make changes to better the outcomes. Then ACT. Do something to make things better.

Sometimes change is required. While looking for a new boss, alter your outside work activities to focus on activities that bring happiness and joy. Get a good work/life balance. Change how you look at things. Look for lessons, humour, thankfulness, and always find a way to move from not happy to happy. Be gentle on yourself. Deal with emotions and give yourself time to “feel”. But give yourself a deadline to move back to gratefulness and happy.

It all comes down to choice. Choose to get your mind right. Look for things to be grateful for. Choose to remain steadfast and reliable to others. Choose to be persistent and even eager. Choose to be a good colleague/boss/employee. Choose to be happier!

Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day! 😀