Just a quick reminder to cherish everyone in your life. Take a second today to let one person know how much they mean to you. Who will that person be and what will you tell them?
For those of you who may not know, I am a big fan of Winnie-the-Pooh. Always have been. Whether it is his east going nature, or his loyalty to his friends, he is just a good…um…bear. To this end, I usually read whatever Winnie-the-Pooh books come out (Winnie the Pooh on Problem Solving and The Tao of Pooh are two of my favorites) I also see whatever Winnie-the-Pooh movie comes along.
A few years ago a movie called Christopher Robin came out and Margie was sweet enough to take me to see it. For those of you not familiar, Christopher Robin was the boy who played with Winne-the-Pooh as a young child. This movie shows Christopher Robin as an adult. He has become wrapped up and all consumed in his work much to the detriment of his sanity as well as that of his family. Through a series of adventures, or should I say misadventures, he is reunited with the loveable bear to be reminded of all of the important lessons he learned as a young child.
In the film, there is an adorable scene where Pooh is forced to amuse himself while Christopher Robin is again consumed by his work. They happen to be riding a train at the time and Pooh decides to play a game he calls “Say what you see”. The game, much like most things Pooh does, is very simple. All it consists of is Pooh saying out loud what he sees. As Christopher Robin is doing his best to focus on work, he hears a small voice saying things such as “cloud…tree…cow” Irritated this is interrupting his work he yells at Pooh to play the game to himself.
In the movie, this game serves as an important reminder to be present and notice what wonderful things are around you. Oddly enough, I was reminded of this while listening to a great experiment Tony Robins does. To prove how much our minds can see what we are focused on much to the detriment of what we are not (just like Christopher Robin focuses on his work and cannot see the detriment he is causing his family) Tony has everyone look around the room for what they see that is brown. He does this for about 60 seconds reminding everyone to “see what is brown. Look for what it brown” Feel free to try it yourself right now. Then he has them close their eyes and think of everything that is…red. Most people can think of only a few things if anything at all.
I tried using this technique one day on the way home from work. As I drove along, I tried to see everything that was certain colors, say yellow for example. I was amazed to find how much I missed in my everyday commute. I decided it might benefit me even more if I were to notice things that made me happy. Cars that looked fun, houses that I enjoyed, great scenes of natural beauty or anything else. Again, it was shocking how many things you drive by day after day and never notice.
The other day I combined this game with that of Winnie-the-Pooh. I started saying out loud things I noticed at first. As I drove to work at 5am, finding myself saying things like “Dog, birdhouse, tree” out loud not only made me aware of my surroundings, it gave me a little chuckle at that. Recalling what I did with the Tony Robins idea, I decided to say out loud things that I saw that I enjoyed. Who cares anyway? I was in the car alone and the time of my commute was my to spend however I chose. If you carpool or use public transportation, you might want to do this in your head. You will be amazed how even a mere few minutes of this can alter your mood.
Combining the knowledge of a personal-improvement expert and a loveable bear can lead to great discoveries. I encourage you to try this yourself one day. You will be surprised at not only what you miss, but the positive effect it has on your mood. Here is a great side effect I have noticed in playing this game myself. After the initial playing of the game, where I happen to notice things that I enjoy that I might have missed before, they then become ‘present’ to me even when I am not playing the game. For example , on the route I drive for work while playing this game I noticed a particular tree that had a quite unique look about it. Now, when I drive route for work, I notice that tree even when I am not playing the game. This is one of many examples. Can you imagine if your ride to an from work, the grocery store or any other places you go were suddenly filled with things that make you happy? It can be by playing this game brought to us by a “bear of very little brain” as Pooh refers to himself. Do it for 5 minutes or so on different parts of your journey. You will be amazed at what you discover. It will have a positive effect on that days journey and every day to come.
As a special bonus, I have included a link to the very busy Christopher Robin telling Winnie-the-Pooh to amuse himself so he can work in the link below. I highly recommend seeing the entire movie. It is a great reminder for busy adults not to forget the things that are truly important.
Saying goodbye is always a difficult time. It could be the end of a relationship, someone moving away, leaving a job or worst of all someone you love passing away. From 2017 – 2018 I had quite a few people pass away. It began to seem like just a product of getting older. Each one hurt and their leaving left a void in my heart. I searched to find something that would make saying goodbye just a little less painful. What I found is wonderfully displayed in this quote from one of my favorite philosophers, the loveable furry bear Winnie the Pooh.
As I thought of each of the people I cared about who passed away I realized and was taught many things. Not the least of which was this; the reason their loss hurts so much is because you loved them so much. The reason someone is loved has to do with many things. Shared great memories, being there for each other, and many other wonderful moments. How fortunate were you to have a person in your life that you shared so greatly with and loved so deeply? Many people never have that experience. As the years and people continue to pass I am forever grateful for everything they have brought to my life.
This does not make the pain of missing them any less but it does temper that feeling of loss with a feeling of gratitude. How lucky was I to have such amazing people in my life. Recently, I saw a drink that my late aunt Virginia used to love. She passed away at the end of last year. Sure it made me miss her, but it also brought back memories of times shared drinking one of these beverages. As I continued to recall other great memories of my aunt the end thought was the same, “Damn, I miss her but I sure was lucky to have such an amazing person in my life.” My heart may be filled with sadness at missing her, but there is also a smile on my face remembering all of the good times.
These thoughts are not just for those we have lost. They work just as good for those who are still here. When I leave for work in the morning my beautiful Margie is usually still lost in blissful slumber. As I drive to work I am missing the sleep I should be getting, but most of all I am just missing her. I wish I could still be in bed with her arms wrapped around me. Suddenly, I am even more frustrated I am not an independently wealthy, best-selling author….yet. Before these feelings turn my day upside down I have to reflect why I am so bothered by all of this. I have the most amazing and beautiful woman that I would much rather be with. She makes me happy and puts a smile on my face and in my heart. In an instant I go from frustrated to grateful and excited to make it through the day and be back home.
This is also true when it comes to a great workout or walk with my mother, a great conversation with my friend Russ, coffee with my friend Nick or a million other moments I wish would never end. When they are over I just reflect with gratitude on how lucky I am.
Last post we talked about my affection for the stories of Winne-the-Pooh. Today we are going to look at the above quote from this famous literary work of art.
“What day is it?” asked Pooh
“It’s today.” squeaked Piglet
“My favorite day.” said Pooh.
In this quote we are given the gift of great wisdom hidden in what seems to be a silly thought. Today is the best day. In fact, today is the only day. Yesterday has already happened and we cannot change it. If we continue to live in the pain and hurt of yesterday we are doing so at the cost of today. If there is a wrong or hurt that happened yesterday we cannot undo it. The only way to attempt to remedy yesterday is to take action today to undo the wrongs of yesterday.
The same holds true for tomorrow. It has not come yet and will never come. Tomorrow is always in the future. Perhaps you have concerns about future tomorrows? The only thing you can do is act today to help those events in the future. Things such as purchasing life insurance, starting a health regimen, begin a savings account or many other actions that will improve your future. It is the actions we take today that will determine our tomorrows.
Fully enjoying the day we are currently in is the only way in which we can live a truly positive and rewarding life. If we live in the regret of the past we are giving away our peace of today. If we delay our happiness for a future event we are doing the same thing. That is not to say you shouldn’t have things to look forward too, but enjoy the process while you are waiting for them to arrive. Make today your favorite day. Let us all take this great lesson from that friendly bear and his woodland friends.
For quite some time now my nickname has been, in some form or fashion, ‘Bear’. Most recently, the love of life calls me ‘Honey Bear’. Not sure how this started. Perhaps it is my voracious appetite during the fall months. Maybe it is even my tendency to put on weight and sleep countless hours during the winter months. Not quite sure. In addition to those attributes there are a few famous bears I really admire.
One of those famous bears is Winne-the-Pooh, or Pooh for short. Ever since I was a young child I have enjoyed the stories of this bear and his friends in the 100 acre wood. As a child I suppose you are just drawn to certain things and are not sure why. In the late 90’s as an adult I was afforded to look at this bear in a very different way. I picked up a copy of the book The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. In this book he compares all of the characters in Winnie-the-Pooh with the different religions. It may sound odd, but I found it to be strangely accurate. There was also the book Winnie-the-Pooh on Problem Solving by Roger and Stephen Allen. In which the characters, and Pooh specifically, help CEOs and others solve problems. This may sound a bit far-fetched until you consider how some of the fundamentals we are taught in childhood are forgotten in our adulthood.
Knowing of my admiration for this Ursine movie star, Margie bought me the latest Pooh movie for Christmas. In this film Winnie-the-Pooh encounters an adult Christopher Robin who has forgotten what is truly important in life. Through his simplistic outlook, and amazing compassion his childhood bear helps him fix his adult life. It is a great movie I recommend for those of all ages. It will help you get in touch with your childhood spirit and remember what is really important.
As a side note, Margie and I spent the last few hours of Christmas Eve watching it and I have to admit it was some of the best 104 minutes I have spent in a very long time.
This is an exciting post for me to write. Why? In doing so I am able to share with all of you how wrong I was in my way of thinking in a certain are. Why is that exciting for me? Because when you learn life takes on a whole new exciting feel. This is beginning to sound confusing so let us get right into the story I want to share with you.
Above we have the loveable character Eeyore from the children’s book series Winnie the Pooh. I must confess here that I have been, and continue to be, a big fan of this loveable bear. He embodies to me a lot of the traits I strive to have in myself. A laid back, go with the flow attitude, the ability to get along with pretty much everyone, a good imagination, and a generally positive attitude that things will turn out for the best. It is perhaps this early childhood influence that helped shaped the person I am today. Certainly his appetite and general physical build has also found its way into my life. Difference being as a general rule I do wear pants most of the time.
For those of you who have not had the pleasure of reading one of the House at Pooh Corner stories, let me explain who Eeyore is. He is a donkey with an attitude the opposite of Pooh. He tends to see the worst in a situation and assumes most things will turn out bad, which for him they often do. This could be an early example of the Law of Attraction, but I do not wish to speak for the author’s intent.
Eeyore, although a good friend, is one of those people (or in this case donkey) that will find the single cloud on a sunny day. Do you know someone like that? Maybe a friend in your life? When I encountered people in life with a sunshine challenged disposition I referred to them as having the Eeyore syndrome. It was my way of giving a not so nice character trait a less offensive title. This went on for about 25 years or so of my life.
Enter my friend J.D. who is not only an amazing singer, but a great aspiring author and a man who spends a great deal of life using the ability the Creator gave him between his ears. We were discussing Eeyore one evening at one of the shows Margie and I do. When I told J.D. how I think of negative people as having the Eeyore syndrome, he pointed out a great fact I had missed. In the stories Pooh, Piglet and all the other characters who have a generally more positive outlook still accept Eeyore. More importantly, they do so without trying to change him. They do point out the positive side of life to this lovable donkey, but then instead of trying to get him to think like they do, they just lead by example remaining positive in the face of the most challenging situations.
I had to take a moment and reflect. Not only did I miss this point in the story itself, but I had missed it in life as well. Often, when I see somebody who has difficulty finding the light in life, I do my best to show them a better way of thinking. Perhaps a better approach in the future would be to just accept them as they are and lead by example. By seeing my mistake, I now have a new and perhaps better way of reaching more people. That is why it pays to surround yourself with great friends and fabulous childhood stories!
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.
My lovely lady and I DJ 3 days a week. There is something I always find fascinating, after singing a few songs people are always on a much better mood. Even those who come in with a terrible outlook. I have also heard my lady’s lovely voice break out in song when she is in a great mood. This leads me to one not so shocking conclusion, people are happy when they are singing.
Above is a picture of Winnie the Pooh and a song he sings. I have always been a fan of this bear from a young man on. Very simple, laid back in short my kind of man…er…um… bear. You would be surprised what you can learn from reading these childhood stories as an adult. In fact, I would recommend checking out the book The Tao of Pooh when you get a chance. Back to the point of today’s post. I suggest we take a lesson from this lovable bear and develop our own song to sing when we need a little uplifting. Don’t worry you can even sing it to yourself if you are self-conscious. It need not be complicated and it only has to make sense to you. What if you are not that creative? Fear not, find a simple song you enjoy and use that. Soon enough you may find your own inner song.
I am Native American and we have songs for many different purposes. Some that give you strength when you feel down, some to honor veterans etc. I suggest trying to write one for yourself. It is easier than you may think. Just try writing down things that make you happy and then just try to work them into a simple little song. Again, this will not be heard on American Idol or by anyone in the music industry it is just for you and your happiness. When life has you down, having a little song to sing either out loud or even hum to yourself about all the things in life that make you happy can do wonders. It may seem silly at first, but even that should bring a smile to your face.
As an extra bonus try throwing in a few things you are truly grateful for. Feel free to share how this works for you in the comments below.
Ok, 2 days in a row with pictures of me? Only because these are lessons I’ve learned in my own life I’d like to pass on. I would like to begin with a quote from one of my favorite philosophers
“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon” – Edward Sanders
If you are unfamiliar with that name, let me tell you his less formal name, Winnie-the-pooh. Yes, I was a Pooh fan as a young person and have found some new and interesting wisdom in them as an adult. (I highly suggest reading “The Tao of Pooh) So what does this piece of advice from a stuffed bear have to do with the picture of me above and more importantly with living an amazing life? Sources my friends.
Here is the thing. A balloon makes me smile. Not 100% sure why, but how many people have you seen holding a balloon and not smiling? Here is the cute thing, I told the lady in my life how I felt about this and she purchased the balloon for me in the picture above. So why am I holding my book A Happy Life for Busy People? Inside there are many tips on places to find happiness in your everyday life. If you care to get a copy click the link above.
So what makes you happy? When I ask most people the first thing that comes out of their mouths is “I don’t know”. Many really have to stop and think about it. A few posts back I advocated compiling a list of things that make you happy. I am going to take that one step further and tell you two other things. Once a week, add one of those things to your life. It could be as simple as a balloon or a bunch of flowers that may not last forever, but will bring a smile to your face. Perhaps a special dessert, or time with that special someone? The second thing I am going to ask you to do is to spread this happiness by selecting one person a week and discovering what makes them happy. You can ask directly or be a little more coy about it. Then, pick up something small and simple to bring a smile to their face. I can’t tell you how much the balloon Margie brought me lifted my spirits. So do it for the one you love this week, then perhaps a coworker next week? Maybe a friend the third. showing you listen and care will mean just as much as what you bring them. Let us all spread a little joy to each other.
As always feel free to spread the word about Secret2anamazinglife.com to all of your friends as well.
Proof that inspiration can strike anywhere, let me share some advice from a very sage philosopher, Winne the Pooh. Yes, the childhood character created by A. A. Milne. What can we learn about living an amazing life from a stuffed bear? Plenty. These words actually come from the book The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. It explores the different religious beliefs in the context of the characters of Pooh and his friends. Sounds crazy I know, but check it out, a great read.
Ok, the part we are dealing with today is called the cottleston pie principle. It is based on a silly sound that Pooh sings as he walks through the Hundred acre wood where he lives. Again, the words seem simple, but the wisdom is hidden in there. We are going to look at one verse at a time. Here is the first.
cottleston, cottleston, cottleston pie,
a fly can’t bird, but a bird can fly.
ask me a riddle and I reply:
“Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie’
What exactly does all of that mean? Seems rather straight forward, but you would be amazed how many people do not understand. So many people are busy trying to be something they are not, or worse yet expecting everyone else to be something they are not. How much simpler would life be if we all realized our strengths and weaknesses and accepted others as well. Perhaps you have a coworker who is, shall we say…’sunshine challenged’ instead of viewing them as a burden, we can view them as a reminder to remain positive. You would no more use scotch tape to fix your car, than you would use a welding torch to put a torn piece of paper together. Everything has its use and purpose. When something seems ‘bad’ or ‘useless’ consider changing your view of it, or what you may use it for.
Still having trouble accepting advice from a talking bear? How about advice from a world-famous physicist? These words come straight from Albert Einstein and happen to be one of my favorite quotes of his. They also echo the words of the world-famous bear above.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”
So whether you repeat this quote to yourself or sing the verse above, it is important to remember everything, and everyone has a purpose and something they are good at. Do not be to hard on yourself or others. Maybe you just haven’t found what you are here for yet. As Einstein said, Maybe you just haven’t found your genius yet.