Are we there yet?

Anyone with kids knows this expression! It usually starts coming from the kiddies after about a minute on the way to some place. “Are we there yet?” “Are we almost there?” And no matter what you say, the same question will come again in a short time. They are anxious to arrive at the destination they were told about as they started out. They know where they are going and they want to be there now!

Don’t we all do this? We want to be there right now. I happen to think this is great. It sets us up to be sure we do what needs to be done to get to where we are going. Here is the however that you have been waiting for. However, if you do not know where you are going, it really does not matter how fast you go because you most likely won’t get there. In fact, if you do not know where you are going, the faster you go, the “loster” you get.

Remember, success is the incremental achievement of a worthwhile goal or objective. That means that you must first decide what you want to achieve (where you want to go). True happiness can only exist if we are living our lives on purpose with some purpose in mind. The purpose will shift in accord with your stage of life and needs/wants along the way. I want you also to remember that it is OK to want to be, have, do, earn whatever you decide. Understand your own values and mission in life and set goals that are congruent with those values and your life mission.

In other words, get your “life map” out and figure out where you want to go right now. Put that destination into your own GPS system and start going. Set your goals, focus on the outcome you want, develop your plan of action, and start out towards your destination right now. Your internal GPS will make adjustments along the way to help you keep on track. As you get close to your destination, look ahead to the next one and set new goals and keep moving. It is the voyage that is happiness.

Are we there yet? Not yet but we are on the right route. Enjoy.

The Law of Re-enforcement

This is a term that I have just come across again. In essence it says that if you re-enforce any action (or thought) it will become ingrained. It makes me think of the idea that Earl Nightingale developed all those years ago. “We become what we think about”.

Other similar sorts of homilies are: what you focus on grows in importance and fact, you reap what you sow and so on. In other words, what you are focusing on is very important. It sets you up for more of whatever you are focusing on.

Note: it does not work in the negative. The human brain does not process negatives. A negative is a concept that our brain just does not deal with. If you tell yourself not to think of a pink elephant, guess what the first thing to come into the mind is. Yep, there is that pink elephant. In other words, if you try to focus on not having or doing something, you will actually be reinforcing the exact opposite. You will get more of what you do not want.

As we know, life is all about choices. Choose carefully what you choose to focus on. It is perfectly fine to think about a problem but we must be careful not to focus on the problem and how terrible the effects are on us. Rather, identify the problem, think briefly about the terrible consequences, and then move ahead to what outcome you really want. If you have financial troubles, shift the focus onto having sufficient funds. If you have poor health, shift the focus to better health and feeling happy anyway. If you are sad about a happening in your life, shift the focus to how you can find things to be grateful for and be happy again.

There is a sort of gyro-scope in your brain that will work hard to notice opportunities to fulfill your goals and re-enforce whatever it is that you are focused on. Focus on what you want more of. Your brain will point out opportunities that you might have otherwise missed. When you see those opportunities, act on them right away. Remember the law of re-enforcement. If you do not act, you are re-enforcing the behaviour of seeing opportunities and taking no action. Eventually, you will not even see any opportunities and you will convince yourself that you really cannot change anything in your life. Take action!

DO Stuff!!

I just heard about the findings of a study done by a Dr. Diamon(d?) and it struck me that it has lots to say about being happy. She put some rats into a sterile and separate environment; some in an environment where they could watch the next batch of rats; and finally some rats in an environment where they had lots of toys to play with and the toys were changed rather regularly. The idea was to see what the difference would be to the development of the brain. It turned out to also indicate something about longevity as well.

The rats were all treated exactly the same except for the specific differences in their environments. Same food, same temperatures and that sort of thing. When the rats died, they had their brains examined to see what areas developed and the relative size of their brains as well. No-one was particularly surprised to see that the rats that had the toys had larger brains and they were more advanced in the “intellect” areas of the brain. It was no surprise to find out that the rats in the sterile environment were much less developed. There were two surprises however.

It was a bit of a surprise to find out that the rats that could just watch the rats that had the toys did not show much difference in their brains and “intellect” areas from the rats in the sterile environment. In other words, just watching does nothing to develop brain function. You have to do stuff and learn from actual experience and interaction.

The other surprise was that the rats that were in the highly stimulating environment that had the toys lived considerably longer than the other two sets of rats. That has an interest for us because it indicates that those that are doing interesting things live healthier and longer.

Therefor, I come to the conclusion that we must be human doings, not just human beings. We need to get out and interact with others. We need to try stuff out for ourselves and learn from our own mistakes. We can learn from the mistakes of others but then move on and advance the ball more by allowing ourselves to try different things and if mistakes occur, at least they will be new ones and we can learn more from them and move on yet again.

Don’t just watch others (TV and the like), don’t stay inside away from all contact, get out into the world and “play with the toys”. Experience and enjoy. DO stuff!!!