THE KEYS TO THE PRISON….

“If you are not involved in something you truly care about, anyplace can seem like a prison”

-Darren Hardy editor of Success Magazine

 

Another great thing about the subject we discussed yesterday, having and developing a life-long dream, is the freedom it creates. Think of how you feel at work the day before vacation. Oh, the coffee maker is broken? That’s ok I’ll be in the tropics tomorrow. The boss is in a very bad mood and headed your way? Well he can only yell at you for a few hours and then you will be on a plane with a cocktail in your hand. Things just seem to bounce off you. Why is that? To answer that let’s look how you would feel in those same situations the day after you return from vacation. The coffee maker is broken? Damn! Why can’t there be one of those white-gloved servants to just bring me another cup like at the resort? The boss is mad and headed your way? Why can’t you just be back on the beach listening to the waves? What really is the difference? The same situations, but totally different feelings. The answer is obvious right? If you are just about to escape to your version of paradise be it in the woods, the beach or wherever it is easier to tolerate the ‘minor inconveniences’. yet, when you don’t have that vacation right around the corner the issues become far more trying and major. So what is the solution here? Take a vacation once a month? If you are like most of us that may not be in the budget. Even when people retire in the good financial situation to travel after a while they too seem to settle. Why is that, and what can we do if we don’t happen to be lucky enough to have our own private jet and gold bars in the living room? I found this answer in a rather depressing and disturbing statistic, On average men who retire die approximately 3 years later. Women fair a little better, but not much. Why is that? people are generally more relaxed, have more time to focus on recreation and enjoyment. So why to they fall apart so quickly? The answer to that question cannot only prolong your post retirement lifespan, but give you the secret to living a life of passion instead of one that seems like a job. Purpose. That terrible routine that causes us to leave that comfy bed and brave that commute to get to a place most of us would rather not be serves a very important role. it gives us a reason to do so. Now I am not advocating working a day longer than you have to. In fact, I plan on leaving myself as soon as I am able. No, the idea here is to find a purpose, a reason that fills you with passion and joy at the mere thought of it. The secret here is to find something that capitalizes on the abilities you naturally posses. In doing so you increase your chances of success and enjoyment. You are also most likely to bring something important to the world. People who find math easy and enjoy it tend to make better engineers. To me they are also slightly odd, but that is only because I cannot grasp the idea of enjoying math. I rather enjoy speaking in front of groups of people and entertaining them which tends to make me a fairly decent bartender. I also enjoy doing it and tend to bring joy to those I am serving. Of course the idea of speaking in front of large groups of people usually ranks right up there with death in people’s lists of their greatest fears, adding further proof to the fact that I am also odd. The fact here is by doing things we are naturally good at and enjoy will also bring us in contact with like-minded people who tend to make better friends. You do not have to make this your career, but by incorporating some aspect of this into your life it will tend to give you something to look forward to and make those daily challenges a little easier to handle. Of course if the coffee maker ever breaks where I work I still may need that trip the tropics. So begin to think of things you are naturally good at and enjoy. Discover new and fun ways you can make them more a part of your life.

SIMPLE IS THE BEST

Often I am asked what is the easiest way to bring a more positive outlook into your life.  I stress doing little things everyday until they become a habit is one of my favorite ways to start.  To that end, a good friend brought to my attention another great thing I recommend printing out and placing on the bathroom mirror, next to the coffee maker or wherever you will see it everyday.  Try reading this simple 5 line mantra every morning.  ideally you should try to feel the emotional truth behind each statement, however even reading it will change the outlook on the day.  Again, like all of the tools offered here, I recommend reading it first thing in the morning and last thing before you fall asleep as this when the mind is most susceptible to suggestion.  This mantra is from a book by Catherine Ponder a great author I suggest looking into.

I AM health, strength, peace, happiness and prosperity

I AM strong, well, vital

I AM beautiful, peaceful, poised

I AM eternally youthful

I AM happy and free

Now try reading those five lines first thing every morning, and last thing every evening.  It should take all of 1 minute, what could be quicker and easier than that?  Try it for 21 days and notice what happens when you start to remove years of negative programing.  Trust me, you will not want to stop.

A HAPPY CD

This little project takes a few minutes, but to be honest can offer years of rewards.  Everyone, no matter how positive or enlightened has a bad day.  Just the other day I was informed my job may be eliminated.  It happens, sometimes outside circumstances throw us for a loop.  What to do then?  There are steps we can take to ‘soften the blow’ of these less than cheery days.  Working with either your gratitude journal, or vision board is far more effective when you are in a positive state of mind.  So I strongly suggest in being proactive and having several tools ready for days when we are just not on top of our game, for whatever reason.

Music has a strong influence over how we think and feel.  Everyone has different tastes.  In fact, my sister and I regularly debate the merits of different musical artists.  Weather you like rock or country, jazz or hip-hop, there are songs we all enjoy dancing to and that make us feel happy and alive.  Now I’m not talking about just songs like “Don’t worry, be happy” although if that works for you, use it.  One of my favorite is “Toes” by Zac Brown as it makes me think of a tropical vacation.  Whatever your taste, take time to compile a list of all the songs that inspire you.  This can be done in an afternoon or over several days.  Then either burn them all onto a cd, or add a playlist to your favorite mp3 player.  My only caution is to avoid songs that contain angry or negative lyrics.  Not to say that music does not have merit, I certainly find some to be great for working out to, but in this case keep it happy and uplifting.  Then when sad, angry or anxious feelings come knocking, as they do for us all, you have an hour or so of music that can alter your state.  Now I am not saying this will fix or even change whatever is the cause of your feelings, but it can but you into a better state to deal with them. Combine this with some of the other tools we have listed or that are yet to come and you will conquer whatever life will throw at you! Stay strong, stay positive my friends!