A great secret to an amazing life is the power of observation. It helps to play a little bit of detective when it comes to your own life. Examining why you do the things you do and more to the point how they impact you life can go a long way towards taking control of that very same life. Let me give you a personal example to help explain this point a little better. When I was a young child I used to watch this nature show. The opening scene involved these men flying over a group of animals in Africa and one would lean out and shoot a tranquilizer dart into the herd. The animal would continue to run for a few seconds before stumbling around as if it drank too much rum and then just fall over. This scene is very close to how I am when I wake up for work at 4:30 in the morning. Before the coffee kicks in, I am that animal that got the dart. I stumble around the house, tempted to fall back into bed.
This morning was different. Although as I rose out of bed after about 5 hours of sleep, I felt that I might have escaped the dart. Maybe the man circling above my house missed? As I continued to get ready I only felt more alive. After the coffee was brewed and I had packed my lunch, and kissed Margie goodbye, I was off for the 30 minute drive. I listened to the band Tito and Tarantula and sipped my coffee as I drove along. Just a little bit before 6am, I arrived at work and felt better than I can remember feeling in a long time! As I began my daily labors I began to ask myself some questions, “Why was I feeling so good?” I did not sleep a very long time. I actually ate a frozen pizza for dinner. Not a healthy energy giving meal. I took my usual vitamins, the coffee wasn’t that strong and nothing else seemed to be out of the ordinary. So why did I not feel like the lion in the picture above?
Why had I seemed to escape that feeling of walking in quicksand that envelops me every other morning? I began to recall everything I had done both the night before and that morning. Was there anything new and different? Obviously there was. Instead of sleeping away the first few hours of my day as I usually did, here I was feeling…well…almost human. I made notes of the songs I listened to on the way to work. I made note of what I ate for dinner, what Margie and I had done the evening prior. Nothing seemed to different. Tomorrow I am going to try a few of these activities again and monitor the results. I’ll keep you posted as to what seems to work for me. It may or may not work for you. As I write this, I feel like I should adopt the habit of Voltaire who drank 40 cups of coffee a day. I am sure my cardiologist wouldn’t like that and I might have to move my laptop to the men’s room, but I digress. What gave me so much energy this morning and why do I feel like I could fall asleep somewhere between the D and K keys on my computer?
This is what I mean by becoming your own detective investigating your life. If you have a day (or even a particular situation) that seems to work out quite well, ask yourself the elements that played into the situation. If you a day where it feels like you were flushed down the commode of life, investigate that too. What caused that situation to go south? Then, do more of the former things and less of the latter. Continually perform what David Goggins calls a living autopsy. Examine what things in your life give you good results and which hold you back.
Welcome to your second step to happiness. Sadly, the first day of this series did not get the amount of engagement that I had hoped. I think this is was in part due to some problems on the social media end of things. I am truly hoping more of you enjoy and get involved starting on day 2. Remember you can always go back and do day one as well. A quick reminder, we are starting from the bottom of the staircase and climbing up.
Before we begin day 2, allow me to share my experience with day 1. Complain less, appreciate more was our instruction on day 1. The day after I wrote that post I found myself on the way to work complaining (in my head which may be the worst place to complain) about having to leave my beautiful lady at home. I was noticing how wonderful the weather was that day. This had followed 3 straight days of rain. I was feeling envious of the people I drove past who were out taking a leisurely walk, or sharing that walk with their favorite furry friend.
My very next thought was enlightening, but not in the normal way. I believe it went something like “WHAT THE -” fill in that last word at your discretion. I couldn’t believe that I had just wrote about complaining less and appreciating more and here I was doing the opposite. Proof, that when it comes to working on developing an amazing life and amazing mindset, there is no finish line. I immediately looked around determined to change my perspective. I had a job to go to. In this crazy time, there are many who are without. I would be able to work at least a portion of my day outside. I had the pleasure of driving through a nice neighborhood and watching people walking, with or without a dog, in a nice setting. I had an amazing lady that I did have to leave, true, but that I would be able to come home to as well. I must confess I did all of this appreciating because I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. The benefit I got was an instant change of state. I felt lighter, colors began to pop and become deeper. I recall this from doing an exercise where you look for things you love as you travel on. I went on to have a much better day that if I had continued focusing on what was wrong and not what was right.
Watch less, do more. That is today’s step to happiness. Watching can sure lead to some happiness. Watching your favorite romantic movie can give you that warm fuzzy feeling. How much happier would you feel if you applied some of those same romantic gestures to your own relationship? Watching the big game on television? That can certainly be fun. Going out with some friends or the family to do something active would not only make us feel happy, but be a great deal better for us physically. Lastly, one of my favorite examples. I enjoy watching nature programs on big game in Africa, or the wildlife in our oceans. Granted, I take far too few tropical vacations to explore the ocean, and have never had the pleasure of visiting the great continent of Africa yet. What I can do is get out and explore nature in my own town. I go for walks through parks with my mom looking for nature. Even while at work doing some landscaping I can appreciate nature. Margie and I love going birdwatching. I must confess to wanting to increase my knowledge of our local feathered friends.
How about you? How can you get off of the sidelines and start being more a part of the game of life? I am looking for great ideas and to enjoy some of your stories in the comments below!
Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.
Ah…technology. It seems today technology can be a love it or hate proposition. There is no arguing that certain technology may have compromised our ability to interact on a personal level. It can lead to distracted driving and make being in the present moment a lot more difficult. There are, however, many reasons to love technology. It helps to save lives in the medical field. It can help us treat and diagnose disease even before we are born. It can help us see and hear when those senses have been compromised. Personally, I am grateful for the technology that allows me to write and share all of my thoughts and knowledge with all of you. As I have mentioned before, this blog is followed in over 100 countries. Just a few years ago an Author from the somewhat small city of West Allis Wisconsin being able to share daily with wonderful individuals across the globe would have been unheard of. It makes me feel so good to hear that the knowledge we share on this website has reached and helped someone. It makes no difference if that person is down the block, in Greenland, or a country in Africa. What matters is the online community we are creating. This is all thanks to a host of different technologies. How about you? What is your favorite technology and why? Has there been something that has helped you or a loved one? Are you in business for yourself and using what the world has to offer to succeed? I would love to hear what technology is your favorite.
What is your definition of a perfect world? Mine is one of coexistence. One in which there may be problems, but they are approached with a sense of innovation and true desire to solve them. A world in which everyone can share their story and we can learn from those different from us.
I do suppose this is why I like the Wisconsin State Fair so much. At its core, it is a celebration of agriculture. It is held in an urban location. This brings different breeds of swine in front of people who may have only viewed a pig named Porky in a cartoon.
There are also the blends of music. Musical acts that this year range from The Temptations to Alice Cooper on the main stage. There are also more than 23 side stages that feature rock, pop, country, soul and even a band dressed entirely like mummies.
Of course any State Fair would be incomplete without food. From deep fried green beans at Krautland to salad on a stick you can find it here. Sweet to savory it is only a stand away.
Developments in agriculture, forestry and many sciences are featured here. Just yesterday I was able to view a slide showing neurons in the brain and how they are affected by environmental factors. I learned what the farming industry was doing to combat the effects of a changing climate.
Even the shopping is diverse. I have seen stands featuring products from Africa, the middle East and even different parts of our own country. These stands are usually manned by people who represent those cultures. Here to me is the beauty of it all. Differences in race or culture are often put aside for the sake of commerce. It little matters what the person across from you is wearing out believes so long as they are giving you the best deal.
If we can all coexist and put our differences aside for 11 days in August, why can we not do it for the remaining 354 days? Can we not use the example of the Wisconsin State Fair as an example of the good we are capable of?
If I happen to see you in this version of the beauty of humanity and you mention this blog, I just might share a beer or cream puff with you.
On Monday I wrote a post titled MY MOST IRONIC POST YET however, beginning a post with a picture that reads “Don’t read this” may be even more ironic. Do I want you to read my posts? Of course I do. I research all these self-improvement tips to help anyone who is looking to improve their life and those they care about. What is with the picture above?
My friend Curtis and I were having a conversation they other morning. He mentioned something very interesting. He asked me if I ever worry about people becoming co-dependent. After a little more explaining I discovered he was asking if I thought people may become dependent on me for their motivation. After some contemplation as it was a subject I had not seriously considered, I felt the need to address it. What we do here in this blog as well as my books and live events is empower people and share tools. In essence we plant seeds. I would much rather inspire a group of individuals who then take the information and use it to inspire others.
I would like to share with you the story of the lion and the gazelle. On a plaque in my office I have this saying “Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up knowing he must be faster than the fastest lion or he will be killed. That same morning a lion wakes up knowing he must be faster than the slowest gazelle or he will starve to death.” I used to think the gazelle had the better motivation. After all, if he fails, he will die. If the lion fails he will have to find a new gazelle to chase. Here is the caveat to that, without the lion the gazelle has no motivation to run. The lion, however, is motivated by an inner hunger that will remain even if the gazelle were not present.
The point? Ask yourself what motivates you. Is it the words you read here, or is it the desire to better yourself that has you pursuing the information you read here. Do you workout to impress the people at the beach or because you want to be the best healthiest version of yourself?
I often preach about the importance of your why. Having not only a strong enough why, but one that is not interdependent on the influence of others. You should use the information not only that you find here, but other sources you routinely use, to serve you as you strive towards your why. If one source happens to disappear, your motivation and drive will not disappear with it. I invite you to share your ideas for being self motivated in the comments below. Everyone reading this could always afford another idea in this regard.