Archives for posts with tag: happiness

After a 26 hour shift I was exhausted even after I woke up. The temperature was over 100 degrees and it was a run day; day 2 of week 2 of my new running program. 

I milled around and debated if I had enough justification to skip my workout for the day. I was tired, it was hot, and it felt great to just sit down and relax. I decided I’d go check the mail, evaluate how I felt and exactly how hot it was outside. No surprise, HOT! But I felt pretty good on my short walk. So I made myself a deal – walk to the gym and do my run on the treadmill rather than outside in the heat. Done! 

As I arrived at the gym, I jogged across 6 lanes of traffic at the last intersection (my community hasn’t grasped the concept of pedestrian friendly yet) and then I saw something that kicked me in my ass. 

Standing at the bus stop I saw an older disabled gentleman casually waiting for the bus to arrive. For whatever reason in nature, he stood there with his body contorted in its natural state. His legs and ankles jutting off at akward angles. His arm and hand unable to be straightened. And he didn’t look a bit unhappy. He was minding his own business waiting for the bus. 

Seeing him made me think of other people who didn’t have the option to be active. My father came to mind. He’s a pretty active and well-aged individual. In his 60’s he recently relocated to the southwest United States. He is an avid golfer, and motorcycle rider. He  recently took up kayaking, and is ecstatic to get back on his road bike. Unfortunately. He is recovering from a knee replacement and has been home bound with a walker for the past 2 weeks. He is undoubtedly going crazy. 

Here I was bitching to my able-bodied self that I didn’t want to get off the couch and go to the gym. I told myself my legs were sore, and there was always tomorrow. I discounted the good fortune of having a healthy body, good joints, and the ability to walk and run with decent grace. 

I stood taller as I walked into the gym. I competed my 4 mile run, with the occasional ache and desire to slow down. I kept thinking that so many people would love to have the ability or even the time to get out and get active. I felt great when I was done. I’m not sure if I would have won any medals or trophies for my speed, but I got it done.

Don’t take what you have for granted. It’s easy to discount your ability and opportunity and overshadow it with a bum mood or excuse. Always think of those people that would gladly take on your minor inconveniences and give you theirs. Use what you got while you got it. 

If you are lucky enough to dodge every other obstacle, there is a pretty good chance you won’t be able to dodge time and the journey of aging. 

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social media

The social media acknowledgment, specifically the birthday reminders; some say this digital act is informal, heartless, and insincere. Clearly this is not the best method to use for your loved ones and those closest to you. Reach out to them, talk to them, maybe even spend the day with them when the occasion comes up. But don’t completely disregard the small act of using social media for wishing someone a happy birthday or “thinking of you.”

You never know what’s going on in someone’s life. Social media has given us the tools to keep in touch, or at least up to date, with people that we would probably otherwise lose touch with altogether.

Around the time of my birthday I had all kinds of things on my mind that had me stressed out. Some people knew about these things but most didn’t. So needless to say, I felt kind of alone at times. But I remember seeing the birthday wishes from people from all stages of my life, who are also geographically all over the world now. It didn’t take those people more than 10 seconds and zero money to write a three word post and send it off. But it meant the world to me.

Some of those people I still see and talk to on a somewhat regular basis. But for many of them, we only stay connected through social media. When I saw their posts and birthday wishes, it was so uplifting. It was more than just seeing that they were wishing me a happy birthday. It was a moment where I reminisced in my mind about how or when those people paths crossed mine. And I am a huge believer that everything happens for a reason!

Now knowing what it meant to me, I make it a point everyday to acknowledge those reminders and reach out to say a quick hello.

Don’t discount those small random acts that you may think are informal, insincere, and meaningless. You have no idea what that other person may be going through at that time and it just might mean the world to them.

I think it’s everyone’s ideal plan to find meaningful and satisfying work. Not everyone is driving to their dream job every morning, but I think most people mostly enjoy what they do. (If not I hope those people seek change fast!) but what about your non-working hours? You should enjoy your job and it will somewhat define you, but you have to have a personal life too.

More and more people I talk to do not know what they enjoy doing in their free time. I’m both baffled by this and yet not surprised. Once you update your status, put the kids to sleep, and get to your “me time”, what fills your head?

The possibilities are endless. And you have to have something to go to when you need to clear your mind or just simply seek pleasure.

Some of mine include cooking, motorcycles, trying new restaurants, watching football, running, being outdoors, and traveling. And that really is only the tip of the iceberg for me. So it seems hard to believe that someone wouldn’t know what they enjoy doing. Yet, so many people have not taken time to discover themselves or simply don’t pursue their interests.

It’s these interests that will define you outside of work. It’s these interests that will keep you sane when work gets rough (and it will). And it’s these interests that can be the foundation of a job that is truly one of your dream jobs.

Don’t be the person seeking every hour of overtime the boss offers. Spend time with your kids. Make plans with your significant other. And if you are without either of those – go make some friends and enjoy everything this world has to offer. Otherwise, you might need to ask yourself what you are working for in the first place …

“Be who you are say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

– Dr. Seuss

The news has been inundated this week with the death of another famous person. This time, an older one – who wasn’t caught up in the spotlight and party scene. Instead, as far as we know, had a loving family, well established career, and enough fame and fortune to last several lifetimes.

We forget to see the simple lesson of this recent death: that happiness is not a product of fame and fortune. It isn’t even a product of someone else’s love or doing. Happiness is found within your own person.

It is up to you to seek and find your inner peace. Sometimes there may be medical help that is necessary or control of your vices to find it. But it remains a personal journey for you and only you to undertake. It only starts when your ready and it will only be found with your dedication. But failing to accept the challenge will not only affect you but in a ripple affect – those close to you also.

Life is short and precious and only you can choose to live it.

Finding out who you are, what your likes and dislikes are, and what holds your passions might be one of life’s best adventures – and sadly tons of people never take the ride.

Too many people live their lives based on what someone else think is best for them or to please some one besides themselves. Sometimes that may work out but often times people settle for less than their own wants.

You get to decide what makes you happy. You get to decide how you will spend your work week, who you will hang out with, and what you will do in your free time.

Some people find their answers later than others but at least they are looking. You should never settle for less than what makes you happy. Sure, compromise will come into play throughout life, but part of compromise is still walking away satisfied. If you aren’t satisfied then you have given up too much.

Find yourself, find what makes you happy, chase it, capture it, and indulge in it. Don’t be a nomadic soul.

You have heard quips and quotes about everyone having the same amount of hours in a day/week/month/ year and how they use them. But more and more I see people utilizing all their hours/ days/ weeks/ months and still being stressed out about wanting more. This is a good thing – the wanting more, but do not stress out about it. It’s call priority, and it’s up to you to organize yourself.

I find myself hearing people “complain” in these situations. I always tell them that something’s gotta give !

As long as you are following your passions and living your heart, don’t stress.

I am a man with no patience, zero patience. When my mind gets stuck on something I want it now, immediately, all of it. But I have to remind myself that life doesn’t work that way – unless you are a lottery winner.

Things happen in stages. You have to stair-step your way up to your goal. I look at everything I have in life and have to constantly remind myself that it took all the years of my life to get here.

As long as you are using your time wisely – to whatever you determine is wisely, then you can relax!

People will judge you. People will disagree with you. People will seem to be ahead of you with your goals and you will feel discouraged. Don’t!

Continue to take the steps on your path, one at a time. You won’t even realize how far you have gone until you have reached your goal.

Remember when everyone you knew was a stranger to you? No? They were. Even the closest person to you was once a stranger.

People get caught in their routines of life. They rush from their car to the door and back to the car as fast as possible. They do the same thing when they get home. Who wants to bother with the neighbors ? They say they aren’t in the mood to be sociable or they don’t need to make new friends. Nothing can be further from the truth.

My life long friends were strangers at one time. We met way back when we were 4 years old. Some of my best memories were made with people who were once strangers – but we met in college or through work, some of us met having drinks at a bar or in the pool. I don’t know what I’d do without them. We have a blast together. Even your significant other was once a stranger, but one of you took a chance and talked to the other one.

I’ve heard if you grow old and can say you have 3 close friends you can consider yourself lucky. I think we should aim for a lot more than 3!

Don’t underestimate the people that cross your path. Open your kind a little and let people in. You never know what they can offer your life, or you to theirs.

You never know what memories are waiting to be made.

I’m notorious for always finding things I want. I’m not a shopaholic by any means, but I see new electronics or big ticket items I want all the time. But as I get older I find it easier to realize that want vs need is very different. Even though I always find new things to want, I have to remind myself that I have much more than I need.

It doesn’t take much to enjoy life and find happiness. In fact, you can do it with very little money if need be. You have to pay your bills and be over that stressful hump. But after that, the simplicities of life can be extremely cheap and greatly pleasing.

Every so often I take a weekend and make myself see how little I can spend. I find myself enjoying making breakfast at home (instead of going to the local coffee shop), going hiking (for free), grabbing a good book or magazine and relaxing at the community pool (for free), or having drinks with good friends at home with the game on (pretty cheap once we all contribute to the menu). Point being, some of life’s most relaxing moments cost very little and provide a great return.

So the next time you stress and wonder if you can afford some item or get envious at your what someone else has, ask yourself if you really need it or if you just want it. Instead, take a walk down a snowy road, enjoy the park and hearing the breeze blow through the trees, or digging your feet in the sand while you relax to the sound of the waves.

Change change change….

Change is good. Yet most of us are scared of it. We get comfortable where we are and what we are doing in a multitude of scenarios. We know we have to “let things play” and we are told that “nothing is perfect” so when things aren’t good we accept it as gospel. But we have to embrace change. For one, it will always happen, like it or not, you will never be able to avoid it.

You will grow up. Your skills will change. Some will improve, others will go away altogether. Your interests will change, or they should. You don’t ever have to lose your old interests but you should be going out and exploring the world. It would be hard to imagine anyone not finding anything else that interests him or her besides what they already know.

All progress includes moving forward. Pretty logical right? But most people will stammer and stall and wonder about moving forward. We put a lot of effort into becoming comfortable with what we have. Its never easy to be the new guy in any situation, from a relationship to a new job setting.

You have two choices: 1) you can let the world pass you by and accept what falls into your lap, or 2) you can actively chase what outcomes YOU want. Regardless of the choice you make, the world will continue to spin.

I recently made some forward progress myself. (My apologies because I know it affected my posting) I spent 13 years in a job that was my dream job. It still is. But I felt I was ready for a new challenge. I’m the type of person who likes to have goals and projects that I am working towards. But I fell into a rut over the years. I actually hate to say rut because I excelled in my field and enjoyed being the experienced person who could answer questions and train new people. But ultimately I wanted to do more for me. But I was hesitant to leave my dream job fearing that everything I love about it would be hard to outdo.

With much support and soul searching I took the leap to explore more of my world. I actually stayed in my field, so it’s still very much my dream job. But it’s an entirely different aspect of it. It has only been 2 weeks but I am loving it. I have a lot to learn but have been able to bring my experiences with me.

I always look at our retirement bulletins at work. They always post a condensed version of the persons resume listed the areas they have worked and some of their accomplishments. I always feel sad when I see a person has only done one thing for X amount of years. I get motivated when I see someone who has been all over the company, using all different kinds of skills. Imagine the knowledge and experiences he or she has picked up over the years.

No one would have forced my hand. They wont force yours either. Opportunities will come and go. They will float right past you. Some will be better than others. But ultimately it will be up to you to reach for one of them and take the risk.