What Do You Really, Really, Really, Really, REALLY Want?

Dr. Wayne Dyer asked this question in one of his talks and I think it bears considering here. Let’s try to illustrate the ideas a bit with a couple of examples after we think about what this might mean.

The idea is that what we REALLY want can only be revealed by digging down about 4 or 5 levels of our consciousness. What we want when first asked is usually something quite simple and direct. I want that idiot to wait their turn! I want bags of money. I want others to love and acknowledge my greatness! However, in each of those cases, is that really what we want if we dig down a bit?

In these days of “road rage” we seem to become a different person when we get behind the wheel of a car. We become “warriors”. If someone tries to cut in front of you, the tendency is often to close up the gap and keep the person out. Why is that? What is it we really want? We want the person to not cut in! Really? We want to teach the person a lesson by showing that cutting in is not permitted. Really? We want to not be late and we might be if everyone just cuts in so we will not let that person in. Really? If people would just wait their turn or for a safe opening, we would all be happier. Really? I think it is finally getting to the point. We want peace and respect which is a way to define happiness. So, just go straight to happiness. Control what you can, your reactions, and realize that you will get there anyway and you will get there with no feelings of anxiety or overloaded adrenalin that has not had an outlet.

Money! We all want lots of it and we believe that it will make us happier. To a certain extent, it does. But after a certain amount, it does not add to happiness. That is because we need to look a few levels down again. We want money for security. We want it to be able to buy all the neat things out there that we would love to own. Or to travel lots. When we search a bit deeper we realize that we want money to be able to help others. What we really want, when we get right down to it is to feel happy because of the things that we can do with the money. That feeling of worth and love and recognition.

Which brings me to the next one. What we are really looking for in recognition and approval is happiness. That glow of contentment.

So, when you are thinking of what you want, dig down a bit. Find out what is REALLY important and use that in making decisions and adjustments to your actions and approaches to life. Think, consider the impact of your actions, act when all is in congruence!

How can you be happy anyway after something like this?

I just read a story in the paper about the suicide of a young man (17 years old). He was a great son and brother and friend who seemed to be lively and full of living. He joked around lots and was a great person to be around. Yet, there were signs that there may have been problems in the background. This young man decided he had had enough and chose to hang himself the day after the wake for a friend who had also committed suicide. The note he left behind was moving and upbeat. He said that he had just had enough!

The suicide and whether it could have been averted are not the issues I want to dwell on right now. This story seriously challenges my premiss that you can be happy anyway! How could you be happy anyway if you were the parent or brother or friend who had to face the reality of this loss? The short answer, of course, is that you could not! Not in the short-term. Time has to be allowed to grieve. Time has to be allowed in order to feel the remorse that you did not personally stop it. Time has to be allowed to think about all the things that will not happen now and to fondly start to remember the wonderful things that were a part of this lost life.

Only then can you start to turn towards happiness again. The plea of the young man was for those he left behind to have only fond memories of him. Good advice. It is what we choose to focus on that will determine how we feel. If we stay lost in the grief, we have only grief in our lives. Start as soon as you can to think of the good memories. Bring them to the front of the mind.

But what if there are no good memories that you can call up? Wow. That is a lesson right there. Focus on what can be learned. In a time-line of eternity, perhaps this life was lived just to teach one lesson. What was it? Do you see the thread here?

Look forward again. Remember the good things but look forward. There simply are not enough tears in the world to bring back the lost. Recall the good. Learn the lessons that may present themselves. Then, look forward to do things that will continue to focus on happiness. It may be to take care of others at risk. It may be to take care of yourself and get help for your depression or what ever may be bothering you right now. It may be to start a new activity. It may be to go for a walk in the park!

Grieve, of course! Remember the good, of course! Look forward and enjoy planning to live well, love always and to laugh out loud every day, of course!

Are You Coffee?

I often receive e-mails that offer advice and inspiring stories. I usually enjoy them and file them away. I almost never forward them. I got one just now that is really all about being happy anyway. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it makes you think very profoundly about how you are living your life. Be happy! “Be coffee!”

Carrots, Eggs, & Coffee!

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee….You will
never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about
her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not
know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She
was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one
problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three
pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the
pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the
second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground
coffee beans… She let them sit and boil; without saying a
word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.
She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She
pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she
ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to
her daughter, she asked, ‘ Tell me what you see’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied…

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel
the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The
mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.
After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled
egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the
coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.
The daughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’

Her mother explained that each of these objects had
faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted
differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting.
However, after being subjected to the boiling
water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been
fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid
interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its
inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique,
how ever. After they were in the boiling water, they had
changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When
adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a
carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems
strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become
soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but
changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after
a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial,
have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the
same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff
spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually
changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the
pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and
flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their
worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest
do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle
adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet,
enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you
human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best
of everything; they just make the most of everything that
comes along their way. The brightest future will always be
based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life
until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone
around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is
smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!!

Made a Difference for That One!

I don’t want to miss capturing and relating this great anecdotal illustration of what it means to take action!

An older gentleman was walking along a beach at low tide and noticed a young boy bending over and picking up a starfish that had been stranded when the tide went out. The boy stood up and threw the starfish as far as he could out into the water, thus giving it a great chance for survival. The gentleman looked around and saw a huge number of starfish on the beach that stretched for miles. He said to the little boy, who was bending to pick up another starfish, “What are you doing? There are so many starfish, you can’t make a difference along this beach.” The little boy looked at the gentleman, turned and threw the starfish with all his might into the water, turned back and said, “Made a difference for that one.”

It is not the big things that we plan to do and get others to support that make the huge difference, although that is important. It is actually acting whenever you see the opportunity presenting itself. Acting in congruence with your world view and life’s mission always brings peace and feelings of contribution. Don’t forget to act locally.

I heard yesterday that Senator Edward Kennedy has been going to a school every week for years, out of the limelight and with no press awareness, to read to a child for an hour or so. He found time to do this “little thing” while still always acting hugely on the world stage. It was not for “credit” but rather it was done because he recognised it as a worthwhile thing to do to help at a very local level.

Make a difference when you can, no mater how large the whole task seems. Every little bit helps!