A HORSE THAT SWIMS!

Here are two things this author enjoys very much, swimming in tropical waters and learning new things. It is with this two things in mind I write this post. When you can combine things that you enjoy it gives you a whole new sense of enjoyment.

One of the things I look forward to seeing while I am either snorkeling or diving is the sea horse. The sea horse’s scientific name, hippocampus, comes from the Greek words meaning horse and sea monster. Anyone who has encountered these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat know that they are the furthest thing from sea monsters. To that end, I would like to include a few interesting facts about the sea horse.

They are technically fish, but have no scales. Instead they have skin stretched over boney plates. They swim upright and are not very good swimmers. The slowest swimming fish is the dwarf sea horse that swims at a speed of 5 feet an hour, or about the speed in which I move in the morning. They prefer to use they tails to hang out at spots of their choosing. The most amazing fact about sea horses for many is that the female deposits the eggs in the male who carries them around from 9 to 45 days until they emerge fully developed.

One of the things the sea horse does for me personally is shatter a lot of stereotypes. It is a fish, but has no scales. It swims, but does so upright. To, of course, the fact that the male carries the young.  Although the ladies out there reading this may feel it is unfair that finally a male has to carry the baby and it only has 45 days at the most instead of 9 months. Still, the sea horse can show us that we can never be too set in our opinions.

Reading this post again, it is worth note that is sounds better than most school papers I have ever written. If you want an example of how bad some were feel free to read the post we did two days ago on four letter words. This brings us to our next important point. Learning should not stop after school. When you find things that interest you as an adult it can be fun to learn more about them. With the internet, that research should take but a few minutes to accomplish. When you combine what you have learned with what you already know, say for example the life of a sea horse with self-improvement techniques, you can come up with a few new distinctions. As a added bonus, life-long learning keeps our minds sharp and helps us stave off age related mental illness.

I would invite you to share what you have recently learned and how you used that to come up with new distinctions in your own life. Feel free to share with us in the comments below.

FIRM IN YOUR GOALS, FLEXIBLE IN YOUR APPROACH 

Be firm in your goals, but flexible in your approach. That is a mantra i have heard many times! This morning while occupied at my day job a fine example of this occurred to me.

Before I share this example with you let me begin with a question. Have you ever heard somebody say “I’ve tried a million different things but it just won’t work!” It always amuses me to ask them to name the million things they have tried. After which they usually reply “well ok it has been hundreds.” When pressed to name them we usually discover the individual has tried a few things, usually things they have done in their past, and they didn’t work. This always makes me question the importance of the issue at hand. If it is a problem with their relationship you would think they would keep trying until they return to love.

When a baby is trying to walk they just keep at it. Why? Because walking is that important to them. Perhaps it is all the disappointment we experience as adults that lowers our level of persistence.

Here is another way to look at this. As I mentioned earlier, I was working at my day job when I started thinking how much I’d like to go to Fiji. My thinking is my lady and I would fly there first class and spend time relaxing and mixing with the local culture. What would happen if I was invited for a speaking engagement there? Maybe instead of flying I win a cruise? Perhaps Tony Robbins invites me to his resort to work on a project together? Would I say no because it was not exactly what I had envisioned? Of course not. The goal is to get to see Fiji, how it happens could vary.

My point here is you have to keep trying until you find something that works.  It may seem impossible at first, but so did walking as a baby. Just keep trying and you will succeed. Oh, and if you happen to have an extra ticket to Fiji…

LIVE LIKE YOU’RE ON VACATION

If you can belive it, this is me at work. Why on earth am I wearing a tropical shirt and hat from Jamaica? It was all inspired from a line in a song by the rock band Kiss. The line is this, Don’t need to wait for an invitation . You gotta live like you’re on vacation. This line was the beginning of a great quest for me. Personally I love tropical vacations. Literally I am transformed into a different person when I step off the plane. It is a different mindset. Anyone who has went on vacation knows exactly what I am talking about. Working on my upcoming book Living the Dream the question foremost in my mind was how can we take this mindset back with us like a valuable souvenir? How can we tolerate bosses who insult us or workplaces that are negative? One I have been working on lately. How can we tolerate freezing temperatures with no sun when we would much rather be at the beach?

While pondering this question for months on end I discovered a great and powerful secret. One I am going to share with you free of charge right here in this blog post. Those of you who will be able to wrap your head around this secret will at once understand the freedom it provides for anyone who uses it. I have personally used this secret everyday since I discovered it. Not only has it provided me a great sense of freedom, but it has made my life so much more enjoyable. Here is the great and powerful secret.

There is no law of physics that states your mind and body have to be in the same place at the same time.

I encourage you to read that statement again slowly. Ponder what that means for you. Cleaning the toilet? Why have your mind focused on the task at hand and all the not so pleasurable things that go with it. Working out? Think of how great you will feel with your new body on the beaches of Fiji. That is why a lot of us listen to music or other such things while we workout. I am in the gym 5 days a week and I can promise you that would not be possible without the encouragement of Tony Robbins, Eric Thomas or the music of Motley Crue and Shabba Ranks.

When we realize this power, it is important to note the two sides of it. When you are in a not so pleasant situation. Say working at the post office with a boss who walks the thin line between sane and insane, hypothetically. Then you can imagine being on the vacation that job allows you to save for. What beach will you go to? What will you see while snorkeling? Before you know it, the time clock will tell you it is time to go.

Here is the other fun part of this. It can really benefit you to be fully present during the good times. Once my lady had a bath with scented bath salts, a few candles and a glass of wine waiting for me. (yes I do have one amazing lady and don’t I know it) Now I knew this was going to be a great experience so I tried to soak it in with all of my senses. I felt the warm water relax my muscles. I took a deep breath and enjoyed both the scent from the bath salts as well as the steam. I took time to really enjoy the taste of the wine, the glow of the candles. I hope you are getting the idea. Do this with every pleasure, big and small, that life gives you. How many times have we driven somewhere only to park and wonder who drove when we were the only person in the car? This can be good if we are fighting rush hour, but if we are taking a drive to the grocery store via the parkway, take time to enjoy the scenery. Enjoying a great meal? Take time to savor every bite. The smell, the taste, the texture of the food in your mouth. We are preparing to go on vacation to Jamaica in November and I am already excited to soak that all in.

Here is my advice to you. Be present when life is pleasurable. When it is not, send your mind on vacation. Go skiing, or camping. Think of an especially good memory you have or maybe something you really are looking forward to.

Remember, your mind and body do not have to be in the same place at the same time.

SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO

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Last post we discussed having something to look forward to. This post we will give you some ideas on just how to do that. Is there something you particularly enjoy? A hobby? Do you enjoy reading? Fishing? For me it is the Wisconsin State Fair. Write down a few of yours. Let us take fishing for example. Do you have friends who enjoy your hobby as well? If so, make a point to get together with them to discuss the ideas we will mention here. If not, perhaps it is time to look into making some fun and fabulous new friends? This can be done by joining local fishing clubs, or perhaps an even online forum.

Now begin to think about how you can enjoy this hobby all year long. I recommend setting up things throughout the year to celebrate your passion. In the case of fishing, perhaps you can gather a group of like-minded friends to plan a yearly fishing getaway? Even breaking this down to planning meetings to get you excited. Taking time to read up on new places to fish. A shopping trip to stock up on new equipment you may want to try out.

Perhaps you can’t always get away? How about subscribing to a fishing magazine? Once a month you will have something to look forward to and enjoy even if you may not have time to grab a rod and reel. Spending an afternoon to read up on the latest equipment, stories of great fishing trips and pictures of all the fish waiting out there for you to catch.

You could also consider starting a blog on the subject of your choice. Not all about setting up your own blog? Join an online forum. You can check in and chat with others while sharing fishing (or anything else) stories. Learning and living the life even while you are stuck in the 9 to 5. You can make new friends, learn new facts and just enjoy hearing new stories.

Doing this will give you several things to look forward to all year long. Do you have a particular passion you enjoy? How do you enjoy it, or could expand to enjoy it more often? Feel free to share it with all of us in the comments below!

KEEP THEM COMING!

KEEP THEM COMING!

20170409_124751This is a picture of the annual bike expo I attend. In recalling the first time I attended I assumed it was just row after row of bicycles you could buy. At that point I was beginning my passion for the sport. Soon I discovered there is a world inside of this sport. Inside the expo, which happens to take place at the Wisconsin state fair my favorite place to be, there are stands for different charity rides, stands for different bicycle shops, magazines relating to the sport, even clothing and accessories.

  • Here are a few things that make the bike expo something I look forward to each and every year. First, it happens just as the weather is starting to warm up. Despite living in a state that feels like it is winter eleven and a half months a year, I am really a sunshine and warm weather person. Seeing all this fabulous equipment designed to be used in warmer temperatures lifts my spirits and takes my thoughts to wonderful rides out in nature. Mini mental vacations are something I advocate regularly, and this provides a good one.

In addition it motivates me to return to the sport. Something for the last 2 years I have been a bit lax in. this spring finds me in the best shape I have been in for almost 10 years. I did it using several of the tips I share on this website, so I am looking forward to getting on my bicycle and exploring my neighborhood and the trails in it. This makes the thought of getting in better shape actually exciting and something to look forward to.

A third thing I enjoy is meeting people involved in the sport. They have people who give demonstrations on everything from how to change your bicycle tires, to healthy eating. You meet people who share different trails you never knew existed, some are even close to home! You can easily hear recommendations on everyone’s favorite things to drink, trails to ride, places to visit and a million other areas involved directly, or indirectly with cycling.

What is the point of all of this? How do I use my passion for a bicycle expo to live an amazing life, and more importantly, how can it help you do the same? Allow me to share with you. During the winter my sense of positivity can be a bit challenged. Some days it can seem the temperature will never be above freezing and I will never see the color green again. Knowing this about myself I try several things to help myself. This year I took a trip to Las Vegas with my beautiful lady. I often visit the local Horticultural exhibit here which is filled with living plants 365 days a year. In addition I try to give myself things to look forward to. I also like to take that one step further and examine the reasons I have to look forward to them. This is a step that takes life from great to phenomenal. Instead of just ‘looking forward to the bike expo’ I think about trails I would like to learn about, perhaps a new shirt or biking jersey I would like to purchase. I take stock of any bike parts I may need.

Thinking of all the little things involved in a pleasurable experience grows that feeling. It also can take it from a single day or weekend into a week, or even longer. My greatest example is the afore mentioned Wisconsin state fair. It is my single favorite thing to attend each and every year. Anyone who knows me remotely well, understands I begin planning for the next year the day after the current year fair ends. What did I not get to see? Was there a food I wanted to try? Something I wanted to purchase? Then right about now discount tickets go on sale. I make going to purchase them a special day. Around June, the preview book comes out. I like to sit down and learn what things are new and what I am going to look forward to doing. I have state fair shirts I wear that remind me of the good times to come as well. There is even more, but you can see how I have turned a once a year event into a virtual all year celebration.

So I encourage you to come up with a few things to look forward to. We will get into that a little more tomorrow, but start to come up with a few ideas now. Even think of ones you already have. The holidays maybe? Family vacation? Start to examine all of the fun you have during these events and how you can begin to expand them to enjoy all year long? Maybe sit down with your spouse to look at fun vacation destinations? Look at pictures from vacations past and discuss the new fun things you will do this year!

Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.

THIS IS IMPORTANT 

As you are reading this i will be in sunny Las Vegas. In doing so I am taking a break from being a Postal worker, a DJ, a bartender and to most extent an author and blog writer. In past posts I have stressed the importance of taking a rest and the ability it provides us.

In today’s world the importance of self care is often overlooked. There are commercials about getting ahead in business, in finance, in taking care of your loved ones and many others. These are for sure all important, but everything you do, including taking care of others can be done better when you take care of yourself. As I often say an empty pitcher can never fill anyone’s cup.

When taking care of yourself you need to provide yourself the undivided attention you would for a family member or important client. I have friends who have diligently carved out time for themselves and tell me they still feel stressed and overwhelmed. On occasion we will all feel these feelings, that is just a part of life. Here is what is important – when you take time for yourself, make sure you are really devoting that time to yourself.

These next few examples may sound silly to some, but they really have happened. I know of a friend who interrupts his meditation when he hears his text message alerts go off. People use their visualization time to plan and think about that nights dinner. This is really not our fault. Today we try to accomplish 25 hours of work into one day. Sleeping? Only if there is time for that. Trust me, I am as guilty as anyone of this. If we are wise enough to take this time to recharge let us use it wisely.

There are a few steps you can take that can greatly increase the success of your recharging time. One, let others know not to disturb you. This is especially effective if you have a routine time of day you set aside to take care of the important person in the mirror. Tell the kids every day from 6-6:30 is “mommy time”. Also dispose of any guilt associated with taking this time. Remember by taking care of yourself you will be better to help assist the needs of others and do so with less stress and more effectiveness. It is really a win/win situation. Next, turn off all devices. Put your phone on silent. You deserve this time. Finally, look into some clearing exercises that help you empty your mind before you begin. Simply paying attention to your breathing and focusing on that can work. Another fun and easy way to approach this is purchasing CDs that guide you through this meditation. All you do is relax, push play and you are on your way. This can be especially helpful for people just beginning. Another perk is usually they last 30 minutes to an hour so when the cd ends, your time is up. One of my favorite site is brain sync they have several different choices depending on what you are after.

The point here is to start the new year devoting time to the most important person in your life, you. Improved mental and physical well-being will increase your productivity and reduce your stress allowing you to be better at life and enjoy it more. Feel free to share how you set aside time and what you do to recharge your batteries in the comments below. Also feel free to share this post.

LIVE LIKE YOU ARE ON VACATION!

After yesterday’s post this may seem a bit confusing. There are times when being present may not be the best option. Perhaps you are in a meeting with a very angry coworker. Perhaps you have a long commute on the subway. There are several times when life is not always a dream. What to do then? Certainly when your car breaks down and it is so could your breath is freezing as it comes out of your mouth you do not want to be present and relish every detail. Trust me, I have been there and can tell you this with some great certainty. Here is a magical secret I use that will not only make the hard times easier, but make life more enjoyable as well.

Your mind and body do not have to be in the same place at the same time. Read that line again and really let it soak in. Last post we proved how people tend to use this principle in the negative by worrying on vacation and missing a lot of the joy they could have had. Even just thinking about a bill you have forgot to pay while you should be enjoying coffee with your friend is an example of this principle.

We also discussed how to begin to control our thoughts. The same can be used to take a ‘mental vacation’ any time you need. As I write this physically I am at the local coffee shop, but mentally I am on a beach sipping out of a coconut. How can you develop this skill. First thing, it is almost impossible to develop this skill when you are trying to use it. So pick a time you can relax and not be disturbed. Now close your eyes and picture your favorite get away spot. Is it on a beach? In the mountains? At a secluded cabin? Picture yourself there. Now try to add as many senses as you can. What do you smell? In my case it is suntan lotion and the ocean. What do you feel? I feel the warm rays of the sun and a tropical breeze. Really feel that. If you have to go somewhere to have similar experience. What do you hear? Can you taste delicious food? Cocktails maybe? A great cup of coffee?  If it helps at first try writing your ideal experience down. Sometimes this makes it easier to visualize it.Now practice this several times a week. Do it at first when you can be alone and undisturbed. Soon try it while you are doing other things. Try changing a few things. Maybe add a hike if you like the mountains? Add other people you enjoy hanging around. Change the menu. Before long you can become a master of the mental vacation.

Feel free to leave any ideas you have on ways to add to this experience. Also feel free to share your results with trying a mental vacation. As always feel free to share this post as well.