Merry Christmas Everyone!

This is a season for me when my thoughts especially turn to hope and peace. It fills me with a sense of wonder to think that during the World Wars, fighters facing each other across open fields where they have been shooting at each other often took a break for 24 hours in honor of the season. That amazes me.

What I wonder about mostly though, is how does one go from there to taking the first shot after the time out? Peace is what every single person on earth craves. And yet we war. Hmmm.

It is my most fervent hope that others will take up this call to “Be Happy Anyway”. Sure things happen. Lots of them are pretty rotten. But they are just happenings in our lives. It is how we respond over time that is under out control.

I urge us all to grieve when we must, regret when we should, make ammends when we should and then look for the good. Move on as soon as possible. Set a date to move on if it helps. But move on to peace, happiness, joy and hope. Don’t forget to laugh out loud every day.

I send love always.

What is self-actualization?

I was thinking about this recently. Don’t ask why. I don’t know. But it is interesting because it is where we all want to be actually. We want to be calm, secure and happily pursuing the things that we find important and interesting with no regard to outside concerns.

Maslov has taught that those who are self-actualizing are independent of the good opinion of others; disconnected from outcome; and have an absence of the need to have and exert power over others. Have you ever actually looked at what those things mean?

“Independent of the good opinion of others.” That speaks to our motivation for doing the things we do. If we can take our ego out of the equation, we will do things because they are right, not just to impress or garner the praise of others. Let us try to think of the things that we would like to do that are right, and do them with abandon! Don’t be concerned about what others think. As they say, dance like nobody’s watching!

“Disconnect from outcome.” We make a decision, we act on it and then we must just let it go and wait for the outcome. When we get a result (outcome) look at it and decide what needs to be done next. There are no failures. There are no successes. There are just results that lead us to decide what to do next. Take the ego out again. It is not your brilliance or your dimness that is at play. It is just a result. Look at it, evaluate it, adjust and move on!

“Absence of the need to have and exert power over others.” This is likely to be the hardest. We seem to like having people “follow” us and do what we want them to do. Again, we need to take our ego out of the picture. We are not more or less important as measured by the people who do what we tell them to do. Power is one of those corupting things that we have to be very careful about. Some will defer to others and “give over” power to them. Our role, is to not abuse it if it is given over. We need to be respectful and careful not to abuse the power that may be given over to us. Be very careful NOT to need the power! But if it is given, use it carefully and with respect for all.

I would love to hear from you on this one. Especially the power issue. What do you think?

Enjoy – Take Time to Smell the Flowers!

Think about the last time you were driving and someone wanted to cut in front of you. You were in a hurry (aren’t we always!) and so you were determined to not let the person in. You tensed up, hunched forward a little and started to put your foot on the gas and the brake at the same time so that you could stop quickly if you had to. You may even be thinking bad thoughts about the person trying to cut in and the heritage of that person’s family even! Your stomach is surely a little tense. Your neck is tight. Your hands are grasping the wheel tightly. WAIT. Is this the feeling that you want?

Remember the time that you let a person in front of you? The person probably waved thanks and you felt good about doing something nice for someone. It made you sit up a little taller and your hands relaxed a bit on the wheel. You took a deeper breath and noticed that you were sitting back, relaxed, your stomach not in knots and your neck was not tense. This is more like the feeling you are wanting more of. How much difference do you think it makes in your trip to where you are going?

I am not suggesting that you become a patsy and a push over. All I am saying is that if someone really needs some assistance, it usually does not take very much to offer a helping hand. We are all in this together. Think first about what you want to feel, and relax. Be an example for others and let us build a truly “kinder, gentler world” one act of peace at a time.

What about when someone cuts in front and is just being obnoxious or a jerk? They are clearly self-centered and may even be a danger to themselves and others. The best remedy is to let them go and relax. I always joke with myself that they must have a great job to get to if they are in that much of a hurry. Or they have something amazing to look forward to when they get to where they are going. Again, it does not take much time to let it go and I get the feelings of relaxation and even a bit of humour out of the situation. I really know that the other person is probably a pretty uptight sort of individual and will likely have a shortened life and even if it is not shortened, it will not be peaceful or happy. There can be no time for smelling the flowers at that sort of pace. Enjoy your time, stay happy, smell the flowers!

My Over-Arching Values

How do we get a clear understanding about our own values? Understanding what our values are is a great start to living a life in congruence most of the time. It allows us to be able to make choices that are in congruence with our life mission and with our goal to be happy anyway!

So, how can we get a bit of a handle on that? Try an exercise that I call my Eulogy Dream (or Dream Eulogy!).

Imagine that you are eighty-something and have just passed away. We are all gathered together at a wake where people are going to eulogize your life. Imagine what the scene looks like. Now, do the following two exercises and write down what you imagine.

First, what are people saying? Be as honest and realistic as you can be here. What are you kids saying? What does your spouse say? What about your good friends? Your acquaintances? Your co-workers? Your employees/subordinates? The leaders of your communities (eg. church, volunteer group(s), neighbors, and so on)? Others who are parts of your life and are important to you?

Now, I want you to concentrate and think about what you would like each of those people to say. Pretend that you can write your own eulogy for each of those people to read. What would they say then? Are there gaps? Probably.

Look at the gaps and decide what you can do, starting right now, to close the gaps so that the people will be able to say what you would really like them to be able to say as they eulogize you. Now you have a better idea about what you want your values to be and can develop a plan to live more closely attuned to them. Do it!

It Really is All About Choices!

Every minute of every day we are making choices. Do I have this or that for breakfast? Do I stop or go through the orange light? Do I put my right sock on first or my left sock? Do i get upset about that or do I let it go and find peace? Can I afford it?

We have made up our lists and have prioritized each of them. We know what is most important to us in all areas of our life. It is probably pretty obvious most fo the time which choice we should make. However, we often are too caught up in the every day stuff to think before we do something. As a result, we really do not make a choice. Rather, we let events make choices for us and we drift along. Well, that is a choice in and of itself.

I want to encourage you to conciously make choices that are from the point of view of awareness. They should be consistent and congruent with your life’s mission. Choices should take you further along the path of happiness, service to others and towards what ever you have chosen to be/have/do.

It really is about choices. Choosing starts with being aware at all times that you are choosing (even a non-choice is a choice). There are no excuses, just choices. Check out Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s latest book, Excuses Be Gone.

What is Happiness?

This is a question that you need to get firmly in your mind. Without a clear picture of what Happiness means for you, you will never be able to enjoy happiness as a way of life.

My “Concise Oxford Dictionary” defines happy as “… contented with one’s lot; …”. That comes close to how I define it for myself. Happiness for me is essentially a warm feeling of peace and contentment. A smile is not far from the surface. Happiness allows me to be able to see the wonder and joys that are all around us all the time. I feel enthusiastic about most things. I love to think about how things interrelate. Happiness is a sense of wonder in all things.

I will be going into this much more later on but it is key to start thinking about this as early as possible. So, what does it mean to you to be happy? What is your definition of happiness? Share it with us. When you write it down, it solidifies things in your mind so you can better understand right away what may be getting in the way of your happiness.

The Concept of This Blog

I intend to work to help those who would like some assistance to develop skills and strategies to build levels of happiness. It is my strong feeling that if we have a world of people who are actively concentrating on being happier, we will reduce conflict, tensions will ease and we can have a world of people contributing to peace, contentment, order and great good will to others. Can one person make a difference? Absolutely. It all starts with one person DOING something.

I will be using this sort of blog to be apart of getting ideas out for discussion and development. I know there will be skeptics but the real contributors will have a similar wish for the world. The skeptics will be welcome for the ride but we will not allow negatives to pull us down. Not sure yet how that will be managed but it will unfold as it must.

I will be doing some video blogs as well. I want to try the whole range of means to get this out there. I know there are lots of professionals who are way out there in this field. They are big and many have become wrapped up in the business side. I will want to bring the everyday approach tot his and make it much more accessible to everyone who has access to a computer. Of course there will be monetization but that is one of the ways to register that you are providing what is needed and wanted and understood. Courses, training, coaching and the like will be available. However, there will be lots of great information and guidance and advice in the free areas that it will not get in the way at all if you choose not to purchase anything at all.

I will be trying to develop the approach with you. Will you help? I hope you will. Simple negative comments are not of much use. Rather, if you have a helpful suggestion or comment to make, please make it. If you want to ask questions or for some other line of information in this blog, just leave a comment. I will be reviewing them all and will act when I can and when it makes senses to me.

Postings will likely be about two or three per week. Hope you will join me for the discussions about how we can contribute to a world of people in supportive and inclusive realization of greater happiness.