MID-WEEK SMILE 😃

As the stress of the week finds us today, let us change our focus to what we have to smile about. There is always something, somebody or somewhere to be grateful 🙏 for.

Wayne Dyer famously said, “when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” Sit with that quote for a moment. It really is true. Do you ‘have to go to work’, or do you ‘get to go to work’? You are employed when many are not. It may not be your dream job, but you can earn income while looking for your dream job. You ‘have to pay the rent’ or you ‘get to pay the rent? Many people, in many areas of the world, would give anything to have a warm safe place to call home.

What is your reason to smile today? Maybe even write it down? Mine is that in 4 weeks my beautiful love and I will be taking our first real vacation in 4 years! This comes along with many things to be grateful for! I would LOVE to hear your reason to smile today!

AN IMPORTANT STEP!😮

Remember to like and share our posts/blogs! It will make you happier, and you could learn a few things. That will make you more intelligent! Being happier and more intelligent? That will make you more attractive (i.e. better looking)

So, yes! Share these posts and this site if you would like to be happier, more intelligent and better looking!!😀😀😀

BOTH KINDS OF PEOPLE MAKE A DIFFERENCE ðŸ¤”

Almost everyone has heard of FOMO, or fear of missing out. In life, there is a great deal of joy to be had in missing out on certain things. There are many times when you have to say ‘no’ to the party, saying ‘no’ to getting together with certain people can be just as much a form of self-care as getting together. There is a great deal of inner peace to be had in staying home and healing our spirit. It may be hard for some people to see this. That is only because their focus is on what they are missing, such as the coffee with friends, shopping with the girls, or fishing with the guys. Instead, focus on what you are gaining. Recharging your internal battery. Refilling your reserve to deal with stress. Reclaiming your inner peace.

On the contrary, there are people who really can be a blessing. There are those souls that being around them can just lift your spirit. These people are truly like medicine. Whenever I find myself surrounded too often by people whose very presence induce the urge to take a hot shower, I make a point to fill my company with those people who feel like sunshine. A walk in the woods with my mother. A nice breakfast out with my love. Coffee with my friend Nick. This medicine for the soul can be just as important as the medicine we take for our bodies. In this day and age, you do not even have to connect with people physically. Even people thousands of miles away can bring sunshine and joy to your spirit. Trading messages with my new friend Eduardo in Italy always puts a smile on my face. Phone conversations with my friend Kaylene is Australia, which I have not had in far too long, brighten my day.

Deciding who, and what, in your life that you can do without can make all of the difference between a stress-filled life and a stress-free life. Discovering JOMO, or the joy of missing out, can bring you inner peace. As well as choosing who, and what, bring you joy in your life and add more of them! Even if they have to be added using technology, such as my friends throughout the world I have just messaged.

What can you do without starting today? Who in your life brings a smile to your face? Feel free to share that with the rest of us! Are there people in your life, even if they can’t be there physically, that bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart? Give them a mention in the comments. Doing so might make their day! I know engaging with all of you who follow this site, whether you are in Greenland or Peru, makes my day brighter!

LET US ALL TRY THIS TODAY!😃

Today is Saturday, the first whole day of the weekend! Let us celebrate by doing exactly what this picture says. Let share one kind word (or group of words) with someone today.

Let us not do this in response, such as “thank you” for a service done, but instead something purely unmotivated. Let us call up a friend out of the blue to tell them we appreciate them. Compliment a stranger on their smile, outfit, or kindness. Speaking of kindness, how about just doing one (more if you like) random act of kindness?

Share with us what kind word, or action, you did, or are planning on doing. Even if you read this on a day other than Saturday, please share the kindness.

STAY IN CONTROL😎

The Marx Brothers are one of my favorite comedy groups to watch. This band of brothers always had a million laughs a minute. Often, it takes watching their movies 3 or 4 times to catch all of the humor. This quote from the leader of the merry bunch really had me thinking. A few posts ago, we spoke about how to maintain your positive vibes around people that are difficult to get along with. If you haven’t read that one yet, I highly recommend you go back and do so. Yet, there are more than just negative people that can get you down. We are going to talk about how to deal with many different challenges today. Oddly enough, they all have a very similar solution.

Groucho lets us in on a key aspect to remaining happy – control. When we let someone, as we discussed in the post previously mentioned, or something get us sad, upset or any other emotion we do not wish to feel, we are giving that person or thing control over us. We are giving that person or thing the ability to dictate to us our own emotional well-being. If we stop and think about this, it is very easy to understand emotionally. In practice, however, it can be quite difficult to manage emotionally. We get upset. We get down and sometimes end up in a sort of emotional funk. It happens to me. It happens to all of us. The secret to an amazing life is not to expect to eliminate these experiences all together. We are human and on occasion our emotions will get the best of us. I still get in a funk. This time of year, with the cold weather and lack of sunshine, it is always a possibility. The secret to living an amazing life is to reduce both the frequency that these moments occur as well as their intensity.

Above is another powerful thought. Happiness is a choice. It is not always an easy end, but in order to get to that end, we have to chose to make that our destination. I opened my very first book, A Happy Life for Busy People, with this quote from Abraham Lincoln, “People are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” If you decide that a happy life is important to you, settling for anything less will not do. True, you will still get down as we discussed, but when you are feeling that way, you will still know that happiness is where you are determined to be. Noticed I said determined not would like to be, or prefer to be. What do we do when we are determined to live in a state of happiness and inner peace and the world seems to have the exact opposite idea? We get to work!

Another great quote from Mr. Lincoln. If we are responsible for our own happiness, and we want to be in control of our own emotional well-being, what do we do when things get us down? That is a great question. I recommend starting by appreciating what those feelings are telling us. There are often great lessons to be learned in times of pain. If all we do is try to ‘deny’ our own emotions, not only will we miss the great lessons we could learn from them, but they are likely to return with a vengeance. If you are feeling sad, angry, lost, lonely or any other emotion, my first suggestion is to ask yourself why you are feeling that way. Let us say you are reeling from the loss of a loved one. You should not admonish yourself for feeling bad. Losing someone you care about can be one of the most difficult things we experience. Realize that in order to feel great loss, we must have been fortunate to feel great love. That is a blessing that not everyone has. We also had the great opportunity to share many amazing memories with that person. Our life, and our heart, will forever have a hole where that person used to be.

Now, after we have honored and discovered our emotions, which can take as long as we need it to, it is time to get to work. Begin by asking ourselves what the lesson we can get from life in regards to this tragic event. Could it be to make sure we treasure every moment with people we have in our lives? It could be that we need to take more pictures, make more memories and share more with each other while we can. How about to live and love without regret? After we have mined our negative emotions for the lessons they can teach us, it is time to put those lessons into action. Reach out to someone we have been meaning to. Plan and create memories with those we love. Make sure we are not so busy earning a living that we forget to create a life. As we take these actions, we can feel grateful for the lessons and reminders that the negative emotions have given us. That can take some time, but in the end, I think we can honestly come to terms with them.

In order to return our heart to a state of inner peace and joy, it make take utilizing some other tools. Many of these can be found in my second book, Living the Dream, but we are going to mention a few here. You could get together with family or friends to watch a funny movie (like the Marx brothers), we could listen to songs off our happy playlist. We can spend some time in one of our favorite spots in nature. I cannot stress enough how creating a list of things that bring us joy BEFORE we experience an emotional challenge is so important. When we find ourselves in a negative state, it can be next to impossible to think of things that bring us joy. I am sure you can all relate. Having such a list handy can literally be a life-saver in some cases.

We used the example of losing a loved one in this post because that is about the most difficult situation any of us can face. The same strategy can work if we are facing the end of a job, the end of a relationship or even just a morning commute filled with drivers who seem to being ‘using the force’ instead of watching the road. Discovering the true source and reason for our emotions, finding the lessons contained within them and then taking actions to learn from them and return our hearts to joy will work in all of these. It will also allow US to have control over OUR emotions instead of putting the key to them in someone else’s pocket. Do you want to have control over your own happiness, or would you rather let someone else control you?

CLICK HERE TO PICK UP MY BOOKS AND DISCOVER TOOLS FOR TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR OWN HAPPINESS 😊

HOW YOU SHOULD END IT☕️

This is not a post about breaking up with a lover. It is not a post about quitting your job or any other act of finality. It is about an act that we all do at least once, sometimes several times a day. Changing how we end this act can have a very positive impact on our life and those we share it with. Today we will be learning how to end this act so that both parties leave with a smile and a desire to get together again. Doesn’t this sound like something that could be useful in your own life? This ending we are speaking about is the end of a conversation.

This is something we often give little or no thought to. Most of the time, we just let conversations end themselves. Here is a somewhat morbid, but never-the-less true statement. At some point, the conversation you are going to have with someone will be the last. What would you say and how would you like them to feel if that were the case? It might not be this week, it might not be today, but then again…it might be. That is part of the craziness of the world; we never know.

While you are keeping that sobering thought in mind, I encourage you to ask yourself a question as well. This may seem like a lot of work, but stick with me. Not only will this pay off with both better conversations as well as better relationships. Ask yourself, “How do I want this person to feel when they leave me?” Have you ever encountered people who after you are done talking with them you want to take a shower to wash off the negativity? I have. Have you also left someone and just felt inspired and like their company was a real breath of fresh air? I think it would be safe to say we have all had our share of both of those situations. Now, think of how many times you have consciously acted to affect a conversation you are having? You have that power!

I would love to give you a personal example. The other day my mother and I met for coffee. Both of our schedules are usually pretty busy and walks or coffee are welcome escapes. They always come with great conversation. On this evening as our time together was drawing to a close, we found ourselves discussing the somewhat absurd nature of political ads. The fact that they spend great amounts of money to tell you how terrible their opponent is without actually telling you what they will do for you or any solution they may have. If you don’t believe me, feel free to check your mail or turn on the television. As with any conversation to do with politics, this started to leave us feeling drained and frustrated. The thought occurred to me, “Is this how I want us to go home feeling?” The obvious answer was “No”. I began to make a conscious effort to steer the conversation to a more inspiring and positive tone.

We all have the power to do this. Even with people that enjoy each other’s company, such as my mother and I in the example above, the conversation can take an occasional downturn. The more we make an effort to keep our conversations uplifting and encouraging, the more people will want to have them with us. That is not to say we should be ignorant or fake, but to find ways to see the positive side of even the darkest subjects we discuss. We should also make a point to end our conversations in such a way that both parties leave with joy in their hearts and a smile on their face. How do you end your conversation to make sure everyone leaves with a smile?

USE THE LITTLE THINGS

Throughout the years I have started many habits that, at this point, almost unconsciously allow me to live a positive and amazing life. I encourage you to do the same. Yours will not be the same as mine, but that is the fun of it. There are little things that only you may know about, that will bring a smile to your face. The goal is to add so many to your life that on any given day you are doing several of them. I realize this may seem a bit vague, so allow me to give you a few of my personal examples and it may help you get the ball rolling.

Like many of the tools that I use and teach, many of these “Little things” came to me by accident. One of the first ones that I can remember doing involved working at the post office. One of the busiest times we had when I worked up front with the customers was tax filing time. Unlike the holiday season, when people usually have a little joy in their heart for what they are mailing, tax time has very little of that joy. One elderly lady was giving me a personal history of how the government took advantage of her. This may or may not have been exaggerated on her behalf. The government does a lot of strange things. Whether they focus on elderly women in the village of Greendale Wisconsin is hard to say. After listening to this our entire transaction, the time came to affix the postage. I looked in straight in the eye and asked with a serious expression, “Would you like to me use love stamps on this?” I thought this would be a fun and sarcastic form of silent protest. She, however, was not in on the joke. She suggested several suggestive drawings that I would not have guessed would come out of the mouth of an elderly woman. I mentioned this might lead to being audited and we left it at that. The idea of putting love stamps on bills seemed so ironic and silly, I started doing it. The few bills I mail now would get one.

Whether your “little things” involve throwing coins in a wishing well, or saying hello to a large statue of a rooster (things I may or may not admit to doing) you should find small things that bring you joy. In my first book, I mention I used to say hello to a heard of cows as I drove to the rural office I was postmaster of. Of course the cows did not understand me, but that was not the point. It was a “little thing” that I did that brought me joy. For myself, little things involving nature seemed to bring an extra amount of joy. You don’t have to do these out loud if you are worried about people questioning your sanity. At this point I am far from worrying about such a thing, so I say “Hello” to animals I meet, and have other fun actions that make me smile.

If you have enough of these in life, you are always doing something that makes you smile inside. Another thing that is almost guaranteed to work, is to make someone else smile. Even if they do not appreciate your attempts, knowing you did your best to bring a smile to the face of someone else will put a smile in your heart. It also has a funny way of coming back to you. In addition to finding the people you are nice to return the favor, people around you will begin to see how you treat others and this will begin to spread. Find your “little things” and start doing them today. If it brings you joy and does not harm others, do it as often as you can!