HOW DUTY IS JOY

Here is a reminder of how important finding our passion is and how it can make all the difference in our lives. A few posts ago I wrote about finding myself in a funk. I called that post ‘When it all goes wrong’. If you like it may help to go back and read it. In addition to the tools I used in that post one more powerful tool helped turn that day, and my life at that moment around – I wrote.

Some people may think that writing a post five days a week, while working on my next book in addition to working at the post office and as a DJ may be a bit overwhelming. Nothing could be further from the truth. Discovering and subsequently sharing information on how to live a more positive, rewarding life is my passion. Seeing and hearing about the positive difference I can make in the lives of others is not what feeds my ego, it is what feeds my soul. I want to truly leave the world a better place than I found it. In short, it is my passion.

So, the other day when I found myself feeling down as so many of us do, I wanted to share how I was feeling and what I was doing about it with all of you. Little did I know that doing so would make such a great difference in my own well-being. This I believe was accomplished for two reasons. I am going to share those two reasons with you and invite you to use them in your own life as well.

First, when you find yourself overwhelmed with your own problems one of the best things to do is to try to help others with theirs. There is something very healing about altruism. It may help you realize someone always has it worse than you, or even that you are not alone in having problems. By sharing my struggles and allowing others to see that I still struggle and what I do to overcome that challenge I hope will be very helpful.

Secondly, I was doing what I firmly believe I was put on earth to do. There is nothing that can compare to doing what your purpose is. When you do so time seems to disappear and so does your trouble. Whether your passion is painting, working on cars, being a great parent or anything else, living that passion is what truly brings us joy.

I want to leave you with a poem that captures today’s thought perfectly. It is from the poet Rabindranath Tagore, who won the 1913 Nobel Prize for literature.

“I slept and dreamed that life was joy,

I awoke and saw that life was duty,

I acted, and behold duty was joy.”

Doing your duty, or passion will bring you joy. If you are not sure what your purpose in life is, I recommend you spend some time to discover that. There are tools both on this blog and in my book A Happy Life for Busy People to help you do this.

I also invite you to share with other readers your experience of living your passion, or life purpose and how it makes you feel in the comments below

REVISITING A MAGIC FORMULA 

 

Until you change yourself, nothing else will change. Once you change yourself, everything else will change” – Neil Panosian

Last week we examined the fact that change comes from within. Changing yourself can be quite a struggle though. It is not easy admitting something about us could use a little improvement. Self-improvement always involves a little humility. We have to confess to ourselves we are not perfect. What we are doing, however, is creating a better person for tomorrow. That is not to say that the person we are today is not amazing, but that we want to bring an even better version of ourselves to those we care about.  I like to picture those road construction signs you see on the side of the road. Perhaps one that reads self-improvement work ahead or maybe even A better me under construction. I think if people were able to see those signs and know that although things in our life may look a bit crazy, they are really just under construction, they might be a bit more patient. Remember though that they can’t so letting them know we are working on things can help.

It amazes me how much the accent is on removing things in our life today. “Lose all that extra weight” or “Get rid of all that negativity”. Sure, both would be beneficial, but there is an easier way. Instead of going on a diet, or pushing people away, try adding. In my seminars one of the principles I teach is this, “The easiest way to eliminate the negative is by adding the positive.” In other words, forget the diet, try adding exercise and a few healthy foods. If you eat a salad, for example, you have that much less room to eat a twinkie. Spend some time with someone who really feeds your soul? That is time that cannot be spend listening to someone gossip.

As you add these positive changes you may find you have the momentum to start to reduce or eliminate some of the negative things. Maybe you will even discover how much you enjoy the positive and then will have even less room in your life for the negative. It is easier for people to add things into there life than to remove them. Removing things can cause a feeling of being deprived, or a feeling of lack and that something is missing. When you add something to your life it is relatively painless. Filling up on the positive will definitely leave you to full to consume the negative.

Feel free to share any suggestions you have to add positivity to your life in the comments below!

SCHEDULE YOUR DESSERT 

 

This is me enjoying a ‘Mosaic’. It is a splendid combination of a crepe, mint ice cream and chocolate sauce. Once a year I find this delightful culinary treat at a local festival called ‘Bastille Days’. It is a festival celebrating the French culture. (Notice the Eiffel Tower behind me) Recently I have found an adorable blonde lady who is helping me appreciate the French culture a little more.

The funny thing about this dessert is the place that serves this dessert is about an hour away from my house. I suppose given a little bit of free time I could drive out there and get one most any day. Yet, scheduling it makes this a special moment and something to look forward to. Do you have events planned in the near future? If so, try thinking of every little thing you are looking forward to about them. Our Wisconsin State Fair is coming up soon which happens to be my favorite event every year. I am looking forward to going opening day with my lady and looking at our brick. Also, I am going with my mother on the day they give away awards for the best food. Thinking of, and planning all of these helps the excitement build and the moment more special.

Taking one example and putting it to work for us is what we are going to do here. I have many events coming up. A 5k run I am doing, my birthday on the 29th of this month, vacation shortly there after. Thinking about what I will enjoy about each and every activity will only make me more excited. Try to plan a dessert as often as you can. It doesn’t have to be food, just something special you are looking forward to.

Here is the best part, once you get good at doing this for things you enjoy you can try practicing it for things you do not enjoy so much. Hate going to the dentist? Maybe you can look forward to some books in the waiting room? Not looking forward to going to work? Think about a fun conversation with a coworker you can have. This takes practice, but really can improve your quality of life.

As always, I am interested in hearing your feedback on how this works for you and how you plan on using it.

WHO’S DRIVING?

This post is going to be very simple. This picture was captured at a red light. I sent it to my lady in an attempt to bring a smile to her face. She told me to her it looked like the dog was driving the car. To me that made the picture even funnier.

I encourage you to be on the lookout for funny scenes like this. Trust me, they are everywhere. You don’t have to take pictures of them, but you might want to so you can smile at them later. Share them with friends. This will do a few things. One, it will give you an album of pictures that can make you smile when you need it, which is always good. Second, it will get your brain in the habit of seeing the silly side of life. With reminders on every corner of all the trouble in the world, this can be a great skill to have. I bet after doing this for a while, you will see your mood get better and better!

Feel free to share what you do to stay focused on the silly side of life and feel free to share any fun silly pictures you have in comments below.

PROTECT YOURSELF!

This is me at work about to do some work in the garage. I am about to kick up a lot of dust so I am wearing a dust mask. Initially, I was told by my boss that wearing a mask when you are around dust makes it worse. How this could possibly be true? I am not entirely sure, but I knew that the mask blocks a lot of the bad things I would be breathing in and with my asthma it was a good idea. A trip to the doctor and a note from him saying that yes, wearing a mask to prevent breathing dust is a good idea.

What point does this make other than that my place of employment often goes in the face of common sense? Here is what this whole event made me think of. In my everyday world I do my best to protect myself against things that are negative and may drain my positive energy. Sadly, you cannot just buy a ‘negative mask’ and it will block all of the bad things in life.

What can you do to protect yourself from these harmful things? Of course you can try limiting your exposure to them, but sometimes that is not entirely possible. Like trying to clean that garage without kicking up any dust. What we need to come up with is a piece of equipment that can protect you. This can be easier than you might think. In my book A Happy Life for Busy People I give you an example of gratitude in your pocket. In a nutshell, it is carrying a talisman of some nature that reminds you of things you have to be thankful for. You can do the same for this. Find something small enough t0 carry in your pocket that reminds you of staying positive. In my book we also mention having a ‘happy playlist’, which is a playlist on your Mp3 player, or I have recently made a list on YouTube so it is always available on my cell phone.

Imagine being able to pull your talisman out of your pocket, or listen to that uplifting music right before a stressful meeting at work? Maybe you will be sitting next to people that just spend the day gossiping? Knowing this ahead of time you can get your vibe on a positive level and have a little escape that can keep you motivated.

So gather your songs, find your talisman. It doesn’t even have to be something tangible. You can imagine putting on your ‘Superhero suit’ before you walk into that meeting. Maybe it is a powerful cape? Magic earmuffs? You can put them on in your mind and change your mindset. It may sound silly, but taking that second to change your mindset can make all the difference.

Feel free to share your ideas for protecting yourself in the comments below.

 WRAP UP…

I am calling this post “wrap up” because it will conclude the posts about the 7 day challenge we started on Monday. If you sense something is wrong, or perhaps just don’t feel like doing the math we still have a few days left. Don’t stop now! If these 7 days will show you anything it is that our control of our thoughts and what we focus on will go a long way in affecting our reality. 

Notice the changes we have made in merely focusing on one area for 7 days. Do not stop on Sunday when we reach our 7 day mark. Instead, notice the progress you have made. It is said it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Isn’t taking control of our thoughts and the power of our minds worth 5 minutes of our day each night for 21 days? 

I would love to hear your results and see us encourage each other. Keep up the great work!

MAKE THE MOST OF SPECIAL MOMENTS

Monday we began a special journey of putting our mind to work for us and bringing great transformations to our life by doing so. If you haven’t read Monday’s post I encourage you to click the link below and do so now.

I DARE YOU….

Each day this week we are going to discuss ways to help improve your process and make the journey easier and more enjoyable.

Today’s post focuses on special moments. Above is a picture of a litter of puppies. Seeing such a sight and being able to hold and play with them would put most people in a very joyous mood. When you are in these moods it is valuable to know how to make the most of these moments. Take a picture such as this to remember the moment by.

Another very valuable and powerful thing you can do is take a moment to repeat your affirmation and/or visualize the achievement of your goal while you are in this joyous state. Don’t worry you would only have to stop playing with the puppies for a few seconds. When we are in a happy state it is often a lot easier to picture positive solutions and to believe them as not only possible, but being created as we discussed in Monday’s post.

All the good moments you come across take a moment to pause, feel grateful and picture your goal as realized and say a quick affirmation. Telling yourself “Perfect health is now filling my body and expressing itself in me.” Sounds a lot better and is a lot easier to believe after rolling around with a group of puppies. Now, if you will excuse me as soon as my lady reads this I will be required to find a group of puppies so she can test out this theory. Be sure to come back tomorrow for even more ideas to enjoy the journey to achieving our goals.