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I think this is Fascinating! You?

Isn’t that fascinating!

I was recently having a conversation with someone, who was telling me about something that was really fascinating to them. I could tell they truly were fascinated because of the emphatic way in which they were describing the event. Of course, it was something that was unfolding on a newscast and pertained to politics, both of which are major turn-offs for me these days; my thoughts were wanting to go someplace else. Eventually, I lost the battle of trying hard to listen and let my thoughts drift where they wished.

Surprisingly enough, where my thoughts took me were somewhere fascinating. No, literally fascinating, because I People on cellphonesthought about the word itself and what is fascinating to me. Naturally, before they had finished speaking I had already formulated my response, which I hate doing because it means that I wasn’t listening, right? Okay, that’s my confession for the day; now on to my response.

You know what I find fascinating?

So, you think that’s fascinating, huh? You know what I think is fascinating? I think that my life is fascinating. Each day I wake, I find a whole new set of challenges. There are so called “bad things” that occur and there are also “good things” that occur. Generally, it is some combination of the two. When you wake every morning, you just never know what the mix of bad and good might be that day. Isn’t that fascinating? With so much fascination contained within my own life, I just can’t imagine why someone would want to turn on the television and watch the fascination with someone else’s life.

Now don’t get me wrong: I totally understand how it is easy to get caught up in these moments. Back in the day, it was just television that drew people into this situation, but today we have social media which just begs us to get fascinated with other’s lives.

It’s you.

Person in silhouette of tv screen of white noiseAs a person who likes to promote happiness within people, I want to ask you: What are you fascinated with? Is it your own life? Through my life, I have known and met a lot of people. Enough to know that all of us have fascinating lives. I like to think of them as stories, fascinating stories. And that’s it. Because each day holds an adventure for each and every one of us. Please make sure that you enjoy your adventure, and if you are fascinated with another’s story, that’s okay; just don’t be consumed by it. Remember, you’re life is fascinating.

Don’t be a Cow! Become fascinated with your own life.

Soulful Quote: ” … don’t be fooled by the radio, the TV or the magazines/ They show you photographs of how your life should be/ But they’re just someone else’s fantasy”  – Songwriter Dennis De Young. Lyrics from the song “Grand Illusion”

Song: Grand Illusion, Styx

Game Exercise/Life Changer: A toughie this week. Go one day without television or social media. Then throughout the day as you pick up your phone to check social media, ask yourself what is the fascination with my life? Believe me. it’s there; you just need to take time to find it.

 

 

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

Be Yourself Quote from Isaac Newton

“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:

Change – Change to a Happier You

I am always humored when I hear people say things to the effect, “I’m not going to change, I like being the way I am,” or “It’s not going to change me.” News Bulletin: Change occurs, you don’t have a choice in the matter. The only say you have in the matter is in which direction do you wish to change. You basically have three choices:

  • Direct my change to where I want to go
  • Change how others want me to be
  • Happenstance – just drift around going wherever the currents take you

Change Happens

For those who have their heels dug in refusing to submit to change, I suggest you go back and take a look at some photos of yourself, family and friends (people you see on a regular basis) that are five, ten years old. This is really a good exercise for us all to do from time to time. Change is often so slight, so incremental that it goes totally unnoticed.

When we start embracing the change that is naturally occurring in our lives on a daily basis, we can then begin to manage it, lest I say actually control it – well at least in part. There will always be things in our life that are beyond our control.

Use this Technique

Same tree 15 years later

Same tree, fifteen years later

Remember doing fractions in school? Reducing everything down to its ‘least common denominator”? This is also a major philosophy employed in problem solving. Strip away all the minutia, all the distractions surrounding the issue, and get down to the core of the problem.

Now let’s try to apply this technique to change in our lives. Let’s reduce it down to its least common denominator. Change occurs daily (actually by the minute and by the second, but we won’t go there!) For this exercise, I am also assuming you have chosen the first bullet from the list above and want to direct the change in your life, for this is the only way to a happier you.

We must first strip away everything down to the least common denominator. And in the case of change, since it occurs daily, it only makes sense that we consider only the changes of today – this day.

How might this look in our lives?

  • I need to eat healthy today
  • I need to exercise today
  • I need to put a little money into savings today
  • I need to call an old friend today
  • I need to ………………………. today

Does this seem ridiculously simplistic?  Maybe, I also understand that you may say this works with some things but not all things. But remember, problem solving techniques work on all types of problems. Whether its math, what to wear or changing a hairstyle, even a job,  problem solving is a logical sequence of procedures to, well, solve a problem. No matter the problem, it always works.

Putting it to work

Let me put in context from the list above. Today “I am going to exercise and eat healthier.” Doesn’t that sound much easier and more doable then, “I have to lose ten pounds this month”? I get started, I’ve made the commitment to do this diet and jog every day. I will do this by diet and jogging every day.

Day one I sprain my knee. So much for that plan. What next? Change to a new plan!

To incorporate the Don’t Be A Cow!lifestyle into your life, you must learn to embrace and direct the change in your life on a day-to-day basis.

Because remember:

  • “Today is all you have, yesterday is gone, and tomorrow never comes!”

Soulful Quote:“We are the change we seek” President Barack Obama

Song:(From Day 28 – Don’t Be A Cow!)Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitude. Jimmy Buffett

Game Exercise/Life Changer:Look back at some old photographs, take one or several with you today so you can look at them throughout the day. Make a mental note: “I have changed.” Then give yourself one little thing to change for only today.

*An exercise guaranteed to help you live a happier life!!

Don’t Be A Cow!Be You, Be Happy!

Spontaneity vs. Planning

As the new year gets rolling to a full head of steam, I’m sure many resolutions have already fallen by the wayside. Of course, I know there are still plenty of you dedicated souls out there still holding true to your aspirations for 2018.