SITTING ON A BENCH WITH JESUS

Years ago I used to ponder why the world was as it is. Why, if there is a supreme being, is the world filled with hate, jealousy, racism and the like? Why did I find a lot of those things in my life as well? It was on one of my darkest days in which I finally received the answer. I wasn’t sitting on a park bench like the man in the picture above. I was in a library trying to find a book that would give me some advice on turning my life around. Some books were way to metaphysical for me at the time. Some were very complex and involved psychological phrases you would need a degree to decipher. While getting frustrated at the lack of a book for the average Joe to turn their life around, a voice in my head spoke to me. “If you can’t find one, write one.” From that day forward I have continued to find tools to help the average individual live a more positive and rewarding life.

What led me to this dark and dreary day in the life of Neil was a lot of circumstances. Professional, personal and my surroundings. By surroundings I mean things such as some of the music I was hearing, shows on television I saw, what I read in the newspaper and what I witnessed people doing to each other around me. Again, I began to wonder how the spiritual powers that be would allow such things.

The answer to that question was very similar to the first question I asked, except this one was a riddle of sorts. (yes, even my own head doesn’t always give me a straight answer) “How do you change a dark room?” This may sound foolish until you look at it in the terms of the world as a whole. If you want to lighten up a dark room you do not work on ‘removing the darkness’ you simply add light. If your glass is half-full you do not try to remove the air you just add more water, or rum, or iced coffee, but I digress. If we all remained focused on removing the negativity from the world we would create a vacuum that could very well be filled with…well…more negative things. The only way to decrease the negativity in the world is to add more positivity and love.

Another shocking revelation is that either one of these situations, love or hate, mankind does to itself. We make the choices. If we sit back and do nothing to counter the troubles we see in the world we are allowing it to happen. If you see someone hungry give them food. If you still watch the news and hear about some group being discriminated against, do something to make someone feel more loved and accepted. As the saying goes, “God helps them who helps themselves.” This is not just true for one person, but for all of us everywhere and the world as a whole.

THE COMMON THREAD..PART ONE

In yesterday’s post I told you that most happy people I have interviewed both at the bar, the post office, Starbucks…really any place you can find me on a regular basis, had many things in common. Well, one line at the end of that post is what we are going to discuss today. I also told you that the unhappy people I ‘interviewed’ had a common thread as well. I will give you an example. There is a lady I have worked with the last 15 plus years at the post office. She is one of those people who are determined to remain unhappy. I think she is so unhappy she doesn’t even realize it herself. I’m sure nobody else knows anyone like this, but in the off-chance you do let us proceed shall we? When I decided I would ask negative people what made them happy she was the first person that came to mind. For the fist time in countless years I was excited to have a conversation with her. So I asked her, “What makes you happy?” her answer, though not terribly surprising, was enlightening. she said “It will make me happy when I know longer have to work here” Now we have all had days that we certainly would rather be somewhere else than our jobs. Why I know I felt that way…ummm…yesterday I believe. The point here was the question was not “What would make you happy, or what makes you unhappy” In answering what made her happy she inferred the removal of something that makes her unhappy. In this case, her job. So that is point one. Unhappy people, or even happy people who are feeling less than happy are focusing on an issue that makes them unhappy. Now, we all have to tackle tough issues in our life. Focusing your emotion, time and energy on them only makes them seem larger and destroys your happiness. At the bare minimum just figure “this sucks, let’s tackle it” The other answer she gave, which was also not a huge surprise was the following “I’ll be happy when I have enough money that I don’t have to come here anymore” This point is really easy. You want to be unhappy, focus on what you are lacking. not only does it make you feel unhappy, but it gives you a feeling of loss of control, rejection, poverty and lots of other fun emotions. The sad part here is a lot of the other unhappy people I asked shared the same answer. There was one more interesting thread that did not show up in all of the unhappy people, but enough that it is worth noting. a lot of them gave me a simple three word answer “I don’t know”.  The sad point here is if you never took the time to figure out what makes you happy, how on earth can you hope to be happy? By chance? There is also a chance a bar of gold might fall out of the sky and land at my feet and make me rich. Not likely though. Which is why a lot of unhappy people feel they have no control over their own lives. They ‘wake up in neutral’ as I like to say. Waiting for the world to tell them if they should be happy or not. I hope you all are sitting down when I tell you this. If you wait for the world to tell you to be happy, or decide what mood you should be in, you are going to be unhappy a very long time. So my suggestion here, review the common traits of unhappy people, check your own life for where these may pop up. Tomorrow we will look at the answers the happy people gave.