4th of July – What a Difference It Would Make!

An Independence Day message using a slight tweak to the phrase spoken by our 35th President, John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address. Just think what a difference it would make if everyone’s first thought every morning or afternoon (if you’re not a morning person) was,

“Ask not what others can do for me, but what I can do for others” today.

Sounds simple enough, but remember, to do so you must first be good with you. For this Fourth of July celebration, I will utilize some phrases from one of America’s biggest pop stars – Katy Perry – from her 4th of July appropriate song “Firework,” one of our favorites, and a featured Soulful Enlightenment Song in our book, Don’t be a Cow! 

DontbeaCowFireworks

 

Jane and I wish you a very happy 4th of July and our sincerest hope that as you watch the fireworks this 4th, you will think of letting the fireworks within you burst and illuminate the world in which you live!

We all have it within us … but, cows don’t!

Don’t Be A Cow!

Joe

 

Practice Living A Happier Life

Practice, practice, practice … practice makes perfect, phrases in which we are all familiar. In his book, Success Is A Choice, published back in the mid to late 1990’s, Rick Pitino, University of Louisville basketball coach, states that practice doesn’t make perfect, but “perfect practice makes perfect.”

Of course from one point of view, this makes sense: Think of shooting a basketball with a major flaw in your technique. Hours and hours of practice only reinforces the so-called muscle memory of the flaw and never really helps with the shot. In fact, this imperfect practice could actually make it even harder to break the habit of the bad technique once the correct technique is learned or discovered.

The opposing viewpoint to this perfect practice idea is that without hours of “imperfect practice” one may never discover the flaw. Certainly a coach or teacher may be available to assist with ironing out the flaw but … Remember the days long ago when we were in grade school and we actually had dictionaries? We would ask our teacher or a parent how to spell a word, and they would make you go look it up. Ugh, it was so aggravating, yet it did help you remember the spelling when you looked it up yourself, even though you probably would never admit it.

I am certainly not advocating going without coaching or teaching that helps us become better at a particular skill or task, but I want to emphasize the importance of practice and the importance of all types of practice, and in particular, practice in living a happier life.

We often think of the hours of practice made by great athletes and musicians; however, what about the practice opportunities we all have each and every morning that we wake? Check out the video at the link below:

http://jbne.ws/6kesj

Haven’t we all experienced similar situations? In fact in varying degrees, we probably face them on a daily basis. If only we could make the perfect response to these type of situations as the driver did. Although I venture to say that it is impossible to always make the perfect response, it isn’t impossible to evaluate our responses to help us the next time around.

In my opinion, practice is important and practice is not so much about being perfect but it’s about evaluating. It’s about understanding that we are going to have good days and bad days, and we should learn from each.

At the end of the day, never be too hard on yourself, and here is why because tomorrow you get a chance to do it all over again! Your fellow humans will guarantee it!

If you practice all the elements that bring about happiness, you will have it!

Laugh!

When was the last time you had a good laugh?

I had a rough day the other day; I’m sure you probably know the kind of day I am referring to. So, I thought, well since I co-authored a book on happiness and all, I need to snap out of this. Then I remembered Day 3: Laugh!

I went to my joke folder and started flipping through the pages … and on about the third page, I hit the jackpot. What a good laugh I had … hadn’t heard that one in three forevers. Boy, was I feeling better.

Several hours later, driving along, I began thinking to myself, I could really use another good laugh. As I was approaching an intersection, I noticed a truck stopped in the opposite lane. I thought, oh maybe this person needs help since he’s basically in the middle of the road. As I got closer, I noticed that it didn’t look like a person in need … What in the world?

There were several baskets on the ground at the back of the truck and sitting on the tailgate was a man, swinging his legs, looking quite content surrounded by baskets of tomatoes. This person had stopped his truck – in the middle of the road – and apparently decided to sell tomatoes from the back of his truck. What made it a little more bizarre was we were on back-country roads, where there wasn’t much traffic, sort of in the middle of nowhere. I’m thinking, what is this a toll booth? I’m going to have to buy some tomatoes to get by? And I start to get the giggles. As I drove by, he gave me his biggest grin and an exuberant wave all the while sitting and swinging, and as I turned the corner, there he was in the rear view mirror smiling and waving, and that’s when I began to laugh hysterically. I mean, a really good horse laugh. Upon gaining my composure, I looked toward the heavens, and said, with a big smile – “Thanks, I needed that!”

Laughter is great medicine. I hope you keep a folder of funny things so you can laugh often. And, never forget, that when you are searching for laughter generally you do not have to look too far, for certainly a fellow human is just waiting to humor you.

Ha-ha! Have a great week!
Have you ever seen a cow laugh? Don’t Be A Cow! LAUGH!!

Joe