“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
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?
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.
In 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.
A SONG OF PURE HAPPINESS I
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.
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?
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.
The 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?
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