Procrastination: Are you guilty? Would you like to end the control it has over your life?

There are actually two types of procrastination that I learned recently:

  1. Procrastination with deadlines – with this type of procrastination the effects are contained due to the deadline itself
  2. Procrastination without deadlines – with this type of procrastination the effects are not contained, as there is no deadline. This type of procrastination is long-term, can lead to unhappiness, and regrets. He says “the frustration was not that they could never achieve their dreams, but that they couldn’t even start chasing them.”

We all Procrastinate.

I learned this from a great presentation by Tim Urban, “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator.” Tim goes on to say that he thinks that we are all procrastinators to some extent. I tend to agree; however, I don’t believe that this is a function of procrastination as much as it is a function of not really knowing what it is you want. It is the ole “what do I want to be when, I grow up?” (when your 60). Sometimes it might sound more like this: “when I retire, I’m going to do ‘X.’” If you can procrastinate for 30+ years until you retire, I would say that you are a pretty good procrastinator.

I think this goes beyond procrastination: I call this “cowism.” It’s going through life not thinking about what it is you really want to do and be (Wait for retirement? Really?). 

What happens when we don’t think about what it is WE want to do? We end up following the lead of others. Someone give me a ‘moo’ please, MOOOOOO! Thank you!   

When did we get here?

“How could this happen, and certainly not me!” I hear you say. Careful, it creeps up on you so very subtly, and it can go on for many years. It’s no wonder why so many people feel like they are going through life not living up to their full potential. Feeling like something is missing. Because they are.

The Don’t Be A Cow! lifestyle is the answer. As I lay out in our interactive book, I’m going to share with you a Soulful Quote and Song.

Soulful Quote: From the lyrics from “The Impossible Dream” Man of La Mancha

“This is my quest, to follow that star

No matter how hopeless, no matter how far

To be willing to give when there’s no more to give

To be willing to die so that honor and justice may live

And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest

That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to rest”

What is your quest?

Song: Digging deep for this one: “Dream Weaver” by Gary Wright

Game Exercise/Life Changer: What’s your dream? What do you want?  Find a quiet comfy place maybe even include some comfort food, lean back and allow yourself to dream. Don’t allow the voices of the herd to creep in and tell you things like “it’s unrealistic” just dream and enjoy the moment.

BONUS: Check out Tim Tebow talk about his new book, “This is the Day.”

Have You Checked Your Pride Lately?

What I ‘m talking about is internal pride: That pride that gives us self-confidence, makes us believe in ourselves, and makes us happy and productive individuals.

This time of the year there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of pride in the air. It’s often easy to see pride displayed when it comes to our favorite ball team. But, what about when you look in the mirror? Pride is something we often don’t think about on a daily basis, but pride provides the foundation to who we are. Pride can be a very positive asset; it can also be somewhat detrimental as I think we have all see this displayed in the sporting world. What I want to talk about, however, is that internal pride. The pride that gives us self-confidence, makes us believe in ourselves and makes us happy and productive individuals.

Which would you prefer?

Now, how I came upon this particular subject matter at this time was from listening to a local radio program. The deejays – I guess they still call them that – were discussing a poll that asked people if they were given the choice of someone giving them a million dollars or the choice to work and earn a million dollars which would they choose? In both cases, a million dollars was guaranteed and there were no specifics on time; therefore, you would have been given the million dollars in the same time span that it would have taken to earn the million dollars.  So, which would you choose? I was in disbelieve that the majority of people would rather be given a million dollars than to be given the opportunity to earn a million dollars. This is the perfect example of pride, or should I say, the lack thereof. We all accomplish many things each and every day. Yes, many of these may seem rather small and of no value, but our daily accomplishments fuel the pride that should exist within us all.
Photo of Peggy Wills the "We Can Do it" Model for the poster

Peggy Wills, the “We Can Do It!” Girl

Give yourself some credit

We as humans build on our accomplishments through life. It is these accomplishments that give us a sense of worth, and ultimately, give us self-confidence and pride. What accomplishment is achieved from someone giving you something? The problem is, we develop this disillusion that our accomplishments need to be on the scale of earning a million dollars, and if not, then we consider it useless. When we refuse to give ourselves credit for our daily accomplishments, no matter how big or small, we can develop a sense of worthlessness. A feeling of worthlessness can lead to many places: none of which is good. I’m fearful that in today’s world, with so much sensationalizing from television and social media, there are far too many people that don’t understand. Hence, why so many people are willing to just be given the million dollars? Remember, when given the million dollars, the worthlessness still exists. It’s just in a bigger nicer house.
I would rather earn $100 than be given a $1,000,000, because the $100 is worth so much more!
I feel like this has had to have been said by someone before me and if so I apologize for not giving credit: If not, heck I’ll take credit! Hey an accomplishment woo who!

Make your Bed.

Navy Seal Admiral Mc Raven explained at a University of Texas commencement why making your bed every day means you accomplish something  at the start of every day.  Accomplishments don’t have to extraordinary but when you stack all of yours on top of one another you have quite a few. Let accomplishments serve as the base for your pride. Accomplishments are to be built upon and not rested upon. And yes, there are some days where making out bed would be a great accomplishment. I’ve had days where I’ve thought merely making it out of bed was a great accomplishment. In our Book, Don’t Be a Cow!, our interactive guide on finding happiness, we share soulful quotes and game exercises for each day’s topic. Here’s one for this blog post: Soulful Quote: 
“If the accomplishments of yesterday are still a big deal to you today, then you haven’t done much today”  Mikhail Gorbachev
Game Exercise/Life Changer: Make a list of your accomplishments, give special attention to the small ones (at least small in your mind – likely not so small in the minds of others). Use this list as your pride check and use your pride check to improve your self -confidence. … and if you want to pursue your own path to happiness, or know someone who could use a little encouragement, please consider purchasing Don’t Be a Cow! 

Do you make time for yourself? Meditate

Ancient Chinese Proverb: Meditate for 20 minutes every day, if you don’t have 20 minutes meditate for 60 minutes every day.

On my journey through life, I can’t over emphasis the importance of taking a little time everyday for yourself. It’s really easier than you think to get started. First, forget everything you have ever heard or seen about meditating. Forget about the 20 minutes or any set amount of time. It is as easy as doing the Game Exercise below every day. (In our book, Don’t Be a Cow!, every day ends with a Game Exercise)

Soulful Quote:“Remember: In life time is all you really have, and you are your greatest asset. Doesn’t it make sense to spend time with your greatest asset-You?” Yours truly.

Jim Croce musicianSong:  “Time in a Bottle” – Jim Croce

Sing it to yourself! (That should be entertaining! – remember I love laughing and keeping things light-hearted)

Game Exercise/Life Changer: Each day this week, take time out of your day for you. This may even be a pause while sitting at your desk, on a walk, lying in bed prior to falling asleep. Or when you first wake up … or the shower – it’s always a good spot! You may even want to slip off and buy yourself an ice cream cone or some other treat. I’m certain you deserve it.

If it has been awhile since you have spent time with yourself, try answering these questions:

            ❋ Who am I?

            ❋ What do I enjoy doing?

            ❋ What do I love doing?

            ❋ Who do I like being with?

           ❋ What would I eat/drink everyday if it weren’t for dietary restrictions?

Have fun with it! Put no limitations on your answers. i.e. “I enjoy ‘X’ but it costs too much.”

And if you want to take it to the next level, actually write your answers down, and think of other questions you would like to ask yourself. This will begin the process of spending time with you. Who knows, you might discover another you. 🙂

– Joe

 

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Be Who You Are! The first step in living a life of happiness!

“Happiness is actually an art of living, which is in us.”

It sounds so simple, right? Be yourself. Be unique. The fact is, I imagine almost everyone struggles with it at times, if not often, within their life time. Why? Because the problem is that when we are truly ourselves, our uniqueness will shine through. This uniqueness makes us different. Although this uniqueness should make us shout from the mountain tops, it often has just the opposite effect. I think some of that stems from a simple matter of semantics: Being “unique” has a nice ring to it; however, when we see ourselves as being “different,” often we have the tendency to go negative and feel “like an odd ball,” or someone who isn’t liked. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Why? Your friends are your friends because of your uniqueness, not in spite of it.

Just remember: your friends are your friends for your uniqueness. If it were for your sameness – and we were all the same – then everyone would be everyone’s friend and eveyone would be the same. My head hurts.

How to: It begins with risk, as in are you willing to risk being seen as who you truly are?

Risk has always been a fascinating word to me. When looking at risk from a dictionary definition, risk always equates with danger or adverse circumstances. But, there is another side to risk. It is the side that also holds the potential for great things to happen. Sometimes it feels like we risk our lives for the great thrill of a roller coaster ride. But there are times when we truly do risk our lives, for better or worse. What I really like about risk is that it is this great balancing act between the possibility of a negative outcome and a great outcome.

In the world of finance, this great balance is described as risk vs. return. In finance this balance is directly correlated. This means that the greater the risk the greater the return. Like Newton’s Law’s of Relativity, this law of risk vs. return is absolute. ( Note: believe in this law. Anytime someone offers you great returns on an investment, the risk is directly correlated. Just like the saying “going out on a limb,” we also have “if it’s too good to be true …” both adages based in truth, and risk vs. reward.) But this is an blog on happiness not finance, right? So what does all this have to do with happiness?

It’s really quite simple: If you want an abundance of happiness in your life, be willing to take the risk. A lot of it. You see, I think most of us live somewhere in the middle. We are willing to risk somethings, sometimes; however, often it’s hard to make the next step toward “risking” being happy. Therefore we have good days and bad days.Take the next step. Take the risk in becoming happier.

In our book Don’t Be A Cow! at the end of each chapter we offer a Soulful Quote and Song to round out that day’s exercise. Here’s a quote and a song for today’s blog:

Soulful Quote: “Cause the greatest risk we’ll ever take is by far to stand in the light and be seen as we are” -from the song,  “Stand in the Light” by Jordan Smith

Song: “Stand in the Light” by Jordan Smith

Game Exercise/Life Changer: