Monthly Archives: September 2009

your life – what will it be?

“The past does not define you, the present does.” Jillian Michaels

What are you doing today that will prepare you for tomorrow? Are you continuing to learn new things? Are you reading every day? Are you creating new habits that will help you tomorrow?

“The way you think your way through life ends up being your life” P.M. Forni

make today a great day

DSC05005“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Do you wake up in the morning to declare, “I am making today the best day of my life”? What if you did, what would that day look like?

What positive affirmations do you review in your mind each day before setting a foot on the floor?
– I can do amazing things.
– I can make a difference today.
– I am skilled at what I do.
– I can make small positive changes in my life.
– I have a goal worth living for.
– I will smile.
– I am grateful for today.

What other affirmations can you write down that express the possibilities that you have for today?

“Our expectations first govern our intentions which regulate our behavior”, writes Lucy MacDonald in her book “learn to be an Optimist”. Becoming an optimist means looking at life in a way that suggests the potential for better things to enter into our lives. It means learning new habits and feeding our mind new thoughts, thoughts that help us move towards a more powerful and satisfying life. Sure there are things that happen that aren’t going to always be great but it is through those challenges that we can look towards a hopeful future.

What would make your day a great day?

life with meaning

Carl Jung “The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.”

Aristotle “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
Which is more important?
Giving to the world all of who you are.
Having the world give to you all that it can.
What has meaning to you? Giving of your talents, gifts, skills and strengths in an epic battle to make a difference or sitting back and waiting for things to fall into your hands?
Many people struggle everyday to find out what they were meant to do and to find meaning and purpose in their life. Many people seek financial rewards hoping that when they receive those rewards they will have achieved their purpose and often they find that the holes in their life are not smaller but larger. Many people follow the path of consumption medicating their spirit with new things only to find that the newness wears off after a few days and the immediate joy is gone only to be replaced with emptiness.
What are you doing that provides meaning and purpose in your life?

mark the change of seasons

Child Moon by Carl Sandburg
The child’s wonder
At the old moon
Comes back nightly.
She points her finger
To the far silent yellow thing
Shining through the branches
Filtering on the leaves a golden sand,
Crying with her little tongue, “See the moon!”
And in her bed fading to sleep
With babblings of the moon on her little mouth.

streams of happiness

DSC03876In Chinese literature, the Tang period (618-907) is considered the golden age of Chinese poetry. Tang Shi San Bai Shou [300 Tang Poems] is a compilation of poems from this period made around 1763 by Heng-tang-tui-shi [Sun Zhu] of the Qing dynasty.
Li Bai

Her robe is a cloud, her face a flower;
Her balcony, glimmering with the bright spring dew,
Is either the tip of earth’s Jade Mountain
Or a moon- edged roof of paradise.

Is happiness a stream of fulfilled living? For some a stream is filled with life and movement a place where life gently meanders its way through valleys and forests. For others the stream is turbulent filled with rubble and debris. DSC03704

In today’s culture most people are experiencing life as a turbulent troubled stream filled with the debris of pain and sorrow. People are struggling to find that stream that runs quietly and smoothly, a stream that gently evokes a sense of peace and calmness.

What does your stream look like?

fight or flight

Dennis Waitley charges up people across the world with enthusiasm and wisdom. Dennis uses this line to help people create a bridge towards success, “It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you’re not.” How often have your heard yourself say “I can’t ___________”. The little voice in your head seeks protection from risk and that voice also prevents you from taking the big step towards your greatest success.

Years ago, many, many years ago during the great glacial ice age the animals that roamed the earth were much more dangerous than the animals that roam the earth today. Early man would go out and hunt some of these beasts and while they were doing that other animals were stalking the men. When those big cats came charging out of the woods it was either run or fight. You can imagine the fear that ran up and down the spine of those early hunter/gatherers as they tried to provide for their family or clan.

 That same fear and response is present today in our actions towards things we don’t fully understand. Someone yells at us and immediately our response is to shore up our defenses, our muscles tighten up, our hearing and vision acuity improves and our whole body is on full alert to respond to the situation. The problem is that in many cases our actions are far more than the situation demands. Our reactions are primitive and not well thought out. As a result our voices are much more primitive in what is uttered, and our tensions don’t allow us to think clearly and rationally.

DSC03721The response to fear is a voice that says “run or hide” or “fight” and in most cases those responses are incorrect. What we believe is that “we aren’t something” when we react to some stress in a highly negative manner. What we believe is that we are being attacked unjustly and the reaction is prehistoric.

Being fully confident in yourself allows you to respond in a manner that shows that you have assessed the threat quickly and quietly and the response is calculated and measured. Being fully confident in yourself allows you to calmly defeat that internal demon that seeks to control you.

 Are you fully confident in yourself?

Do you respond to threats with a measured and calculated response?

Do you think before you react?

pathway to happiness

For many people happiness is reaching some well defined goal. For many of those same people reaching the goal doesn’t provide the feeling of satisfaction/happiness that they had assumed would be waiting for them at the end.

Happiness is a journey and it is what is learned, experienced and grappled with on that journey that lends itself to happiness. It isn’t always winning the game that matters it is playing the game. It isn’t reaching the summit of a high peak it is the climb and the experience of the climb that provides the greatest sustained joy.

When the journey is about to end think about what it would take to repeat the best parts of that journey again. What did you learn along the way? Who did you meet? What moments provided the greatest satisfaction? What new goals can come forth from the journey taken? Give yourself time to reflect on what was rewarding about the journey and then set your sights on a new horizon.

Become an adventurer in happiness. Continue to seek the horizon and discover along the way what it means to be alive and happy.

 “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.” Zig Ziglar



Seeking happiness

“Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.”

– Dale Carnegie

For so many happiness comes from external things, like work, financial rewards, status, or power.  What if that isn’t where happiness is found?  Where do you go to find it?   For some people it might mean focusing on destructive vices that medicate the heart.   For others it may be buying things, things that have no long term value but do just enough to fill a void.

Where do you find happiness?

Can you find happiness or do you create happiness?  

Do you think happy thoughts?  

Do you believe in yourself?

Is your day more positive than negative?  

What makes you happy?

Perhaps the words of Dostoevsky might help,
“Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys.  If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it. “

Stamp of approval

What do people need?

Simple – to know that someone cares about them.

Take a look at validation.

Get your stamp of approval.

Who can you validate today?

are you happy?

What is your happiness index?

What makes you smile on the inside?  What tells you that you have had a great day?

On a scale of 1 – 10 (where 1 is low and 10 is high) , how happy are you?

What would it take to make you a 10?

One of the definitions of happiness says that life isn’t what you get but what you give.  What have you given lately?   Was it to charity?  Was it to someone close to you?  Was it someone you don’t even know?

What have you done for someone else lately?