Monthly Archives: February 2012

Joy – The responsibility equation

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”   Albert Ellis

Joy, what is it?

Is joy happiness?   Is joy the sustained sense of well-being that we experience when our needs are met and some of our wants are met?   Is joy a sense of contentment in the midst of all of life’s circumstances?

Some people would say that joy has no definition, it is a state of mind that defies description.   It is a feeling that is different for every person.    Let’s look at an example, two stewardesses on a plane with basically the same job, the same pay, the same circumstances and yet one is happy and the other is grumpy.    The conditions on the plane are the same for both stewardesses, yet one is happy and the other isn’t.   What is the difference?

Where does joy come from?    Does joy come from things outside of you?    Joy seems to be manufactured by the interpretation of the situation you  see yourself in right now.   If you find yourself being anxious, upset, worried, fretting, angry, or depressed about how things are in your life there will be little space for joy.   If you find yourself at peace with what you have and where you are in life right now then you’ll probably sense some joy and happiness.

The difference it seems between feeling joy and not having joy is about taking responsibility for joy.   If you take 100% responsibility for your life then you will start experiencing more joy in your life.   Responsibility means that you are doing all that you can to create the outcomes you want in life for you.   It means that you are giving more, you are more concerned with others than yourself.  It means that you give with the expectation of getting nothing in return.

For many people getting more stuff provides some level of increased happiness yet that only lasts a short amount of time.   Hedonic adaptation takes over and that new car, new home, new bike, new clothes, or new something only has a short impact on happiness.      So while new things provide momentary happiness that happiness dissolves within a relatively short amount of time and as a result there is an increased sense of dissatisfaction which increases the pressure to get a happiness fix.

The responsibility equation replaces those momentary happiness fixes with a sense of long-lasting joy.   That is taking 100% responsibility for all things, giving more and doing more.   Think about it, what would living the 100/0 equation do for you?

Take a look:


Before you agree to do anything that might add even the smallest amount of stress to your life, ask yourself: What is my truest intention? Give yourself time to let a yes resound within you. When it’s right, I guarantee that your entire body will feel it.   Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine

It is what gets you from point A to point B, intention.   It is a motivating and driving force that enables you to do and to be.   Everything that you do starts with with an idea.  The idea grows in size and power until there is action.   The natural growth of that idea into an energetic force is intention.

Intention to do.   Intention to be.   Intention is like a compass pointing you in a direction.    Attention that follows intention is what starts you on that journey to reach that goal.   The intention precedes attention to the goal.

Often what is needed to transform and idea or thought into intention is a catalyst.    Words can acts as catalysts,  words like “creativity”, “kindness”, “love”, “beauty”, “abundant”,  and “receptive”.

Take each word and expand the meaning of the word in terms of being a catalyst for doing and being.


What can you create?    What idea can you take and add to it.    How is creativity like a flower?




What does kindness look like to you?   What acts of kindness can you do today?  What does intentional kindness look like?    What does kindness feel like?



What is the intention of love?   What does it take to be intentional about love?  What can you do to be intentional about love today?




Observe.   Take some time out to discover beauty around you.   Just look and notice.   The act of being intentional about noticing beauty may be eye-opening.  What are you noticing?


What does abundant mean to you?    Does it mean available?   Does it mean large in quantity?   Does it mean high in quality?   What is abundance?   Lack of want?  What do you have abundance of?    What are you desiring to be more abundant in your life?


Open to something new.    How are you being receptive to your thoughts?   How are you looking at your thoughts in terms of creating more abundance, more love, more beauty, more kindness and more creativity?   Intention starts with your ability to receive into your life the very things that surround you today.   Use what you have to get what you want.   Use your creativity, use your kindness, use your love, use the beauty, use your abundant ideas to live with greater intention.

Listen to what Deepak Chopra has to say about intention.   What are you doing to be more intentional about your life?


“Time And health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted.”  Denis Waitley

Health and happiness are tightly woven together.   People who exercise are going to benefit from the post-exercise benefits for as much as 12 hours according to an  article in U.S News and World Report.   Twelve hours of positive benefits from moderate exercise (20 minutes) per day helps increase brain mood, or happiness.

How much exercise are you getting on  a daily basis?

Another important factor is sleep.   Regular, routine sleep of 7-8 hours.  That makes a big difference.   People with adequate sleep experience less stress and are able to handle stress better.   The Huffington Post gives 11 reasons why sleep is beneficial.   Creating new sleep habits, having regular times for sleep will provide long-term benefits.   Instead of reading one more email, watching one more movie or doing one more extra thing at the end of the day, stop and go to bed instead.   Getting the sleep you need will have long-term and short-term benefits and will improve your happiness as well.

How much sleep do you get each night?

Finally, diet.   How many times in an average week do you find yourself at the counter of a fast food restaurant and most food chains qualify as fast food?   In the US obesity is an epidemic.   Cheap high calorie food for those who sit more at work and at home is contributing to increases in lifestyle diseases such as type II diabetes.   In one report it  is estimated that the current generation of kids  is likely to have a shorter lifespan than their parents, reversing a long trend of longer lifespans.    Eating cheap, available high calorie foods is not helping our kids, our families or our health.   It may be convenient to stop and get a quick meal in the rush to cram a little bit more into a day, but eventually there is a high price to pay, and that will be quality of life.   Lifestyle diseases are not easy to or cheap to fix.   It pays to spend time preparing and eating healthy meals.

How much fast food is in your diet?

Health is a choice, getting 30 minutes of exercise per day, getting enough sleep per night and eating the right foods are all choices people make.   Some people make those choices without thinking about the long-term consequences of those choices.

Being healthy leads to greater happiness, and it also leads to a higher quality of life.   Think about your health habits, what could change to make your life better?


“Don’t go through life, grow through life.”  Eric Butterworth

When did you stop growing?   How many books do you read a year?   How many educational events do you attend each year?   What are you doing to grow your personal brand?

For many people just getting through the day is enough, never mind adding more to it, more to do, more to learn, it is just too much for some.    In the world we live in today, just relying on what you know today isn’t going to be enough to allow you to compete in a fast changing economic and social structure.   Change is happening faster than ever before and for some people it is just too much.

How do you start on a journey of growth?   Perhaps you can start by doing something just for a few days, like 30.

What does it take to GROW?

1. Understand what you want?   Have a Goal.

2. Assess your current situation, understand your Reality.

3. Look at your Options.   What is available to you?  Or, what could you do?

4. Make a commitment, what Will you do?

Maybe you’re not the kind of person who likes to set 30 day goals and just trying something for 30 days.   If there is something you want to do  then start now.   Do it for 7 days and see how it feels and then do it for another 7 days.

For example.  Read a book.   Find a book you’d like to read.  Turn off the TV, and read for 7 days straight.   Read a little, read a lot.   Just find time to read each day.   Your imagination will be strengthened, your time will be invested rather than used up.

Turn off the News.   What have you found on the news that helps you to live a better life.   If you are like most people all you heard was that there were all kinds of problems happening in your part of the world.   The news wants to create the illusion that the world is a bad place to be.   Turn off the news and take the time to learn something new, or do something new.   Perhaps take up a hobby,  and create something.   Write a letter to a friend that you haven’t written to in a while.   Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t talked to recently.  Use the time to connect to people rather than “listening” to what has happened.

What do you think?

Are you willing to GROW?   What is your GROWth plans for the next 30 days?

“No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it.”   Richard Bach


“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Frank Herbert, Dune

What would you be doing right now if fear didn’t have its way with you?   That is right, fear is stopping you from living fully.   It is holding you back.  It is making you nervous and it is changing the rhythm of your self-talk.   What is it saying right now?   Is it saying “I can do anything I want to” or is it saying “I would do if it if I wanted to” or is it saying “I could do it but I don’t feel like it.”    What messages are you listening to, what is the talk of your unconscious mind saying right now?   It may not be saying anything, it may just be a feeling, a nervous feeling, a queasy feeling, an uncertain feeling, a feeling that says back away or a feeling that says quit now.   What is it you are feeling right now?   How does the word fear feel right now?

Some people fear changing a job that they absolutely know isn’t working for them.   They keep the job just to have a job and in today’s uncertain economy that is holding back people from doing what they love to do.

Fear rips through someone who finds out that they have a severe illness.  What is next?  What will happen to me?   The mind fixates on the worst outcome possible rather than focusing on what the best outcome could be.

What are you fearful about?

Write down those things now.

I am fearful about __________________________________________

I am fearful about __________________________________________

I am fearful about __________________________________________

Now that you have the idea, write down the things that you are fearful about.  Identify those fears.

What is a fear?  What is the rational thought behind the fear?

Examine the fear and look at it from 360 degrees.   Look all around the fear and write down what is true about the fear.   What is really true, not what you think is true.

Let’s say you are looking for a new job.  You’ve written your resume and sent it out to over 200 organizations and not one has written or called you for an interview.   Maybe you are thinking you are not good enough to be hired.  You feel rejected and then you feel that without a job then you won’t be able to provide for yourself.    The fear is that you aren’t good enough.   If you aren’t good enough then what.  What does the future hold for you if you aren’t good enough?

The fear  you are not good enough is just a thought you made up, where is the truth in that statement “you’re not good enough?”.

Take one step out of fear by creating a positive frame of mind.   To create a positive frame of mind think positive.   Tame the voice of fear and replace it with  the voice of creation.

“I am creating my future.”

“I am  living fully today.”

“I am enjoying the moment.”

“I am good enough.”

Replace the old thoughts with new ones.  Practice, practice and practice focusing on what you want as an outcome and move forward each day.

In this video Dr. Michael Duckett talks about overcoming fear.   Coaching also works to move people beyond limiting beliefs, assumptions and interpretations.

Take the next step to conquer fear in your life.  Focus on what you can do right now, right now and solve the problems rather than trying to figure out what will happen in the future.

“Be brave enough to live creatively…. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you will discover will be wonderful. What you will discover will be yourself. ”
Alan Alda