Category Archives: Self-Help

Time is Wonderful

Time has a wonderful way of weeding out the trivial. – Richard Ben Sapir0

Time. We love it. We hate it. It goes fast. It goes slow. But, one thing for sure is that it doesn’t stop marching forward.

Time can be our friend, though. It heals wounds. It helps us forget the pain of a difficult moments in our lives. It brings wisdom if we let it and as Mr. Sapiro states, time weeds out the trivial. I agree. We remember the most important moments in our lives. The rest seems to fade into the noise of the past.

My favorite thing is to have the experience when time seems to stand still. Have you experienced that? You typically don’t notice until the moment is over. I’ve found it to happen in pivotal life moments, periods of extreme joy and delight and those times when we seem to be closing chapters in our lives. In these moments, I find that my senses are on overload. Everything seems more distinct, more vital. Afterwards, I remember almost everything; exquisite detail, emotions, expressions and thoughts.

I treasure those moments “out of time.” They make my life richer.

Michael

Tackle Problems Now

It is a good rule to face difficulties at the time they arise and not allow them to increase unacknowledged. – Edward W. Ziegler

One’s objective should be to get it right, get it quick, get it out, and get it over. You see, your problem won’t improve with age. – Warren Buffett

Are you one of those people who tend to not face problems? Do you hate having to deal with problems? Do problems scare you or make you feel like your life is out of your control?

The best advice is to tackle problems as they occur. Not facing them, refusing to make a decision concerning them or leaving them alone will cause problems to fester and grow bigger. A small problem can become a really big problem in a very short amount of time.

Three keys to dealing with problems are:

  1. Believe that you have the power to solve them.
  2. Know that all problems push us to grow in understanding about ourselves and others.
  3. Problems are just one side of the coin. The other side is the solution. There is never a problem without a solution.

If you believe you can’t solve a problem, then it will never happen. Many times just coming to the realization behind the three keys mentioned above will be enough to propel your mind into a different, more creative place. When your attitude about a problem shifts away from negative and turns towards positive, your mind is freer to do what it does best; i.e. solve problems. Humans have an infinite potential if our attitude and thought process are more aligned to positive things.

Next time you are facing a problem, take a step back, think about the three keys and figure out a way to calm down. This slight shift will turn you towards not only a solution but a better solution.

Michael

Destiny and Choice

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved. – Jeremy Kitson

Some believe destiny comes from luck while others believe it comes from fate. Some think destiny is something given to us by things divine while others think that our destiny is determined by other people.

I think Jeremy Kitson has it right. Destiny is choice and choice comes from our thoughts. So, for me, it’s an easy jump to say that destiny is determined by what we think on a regular basis. In other words, our dominant thought patterns day in and day out determine our destiny.

Some people have convinced themselves that they do not have a choice in their life, so for them destiny is something perpetually out of their control. Working on what we think and how we think can help bring that control back to ourselves.

If we continually or consistently think “negative” thoughts about a variety of subjects, then we will have a belief that our destiny is less than desirable. We will think that our destiny is one of misery, despair and etc.

But, if we work on thinking about ourselves and the world around us in a more positive framework, then our destiny immediately becomes better. We’ll make choices that support our positive thoughts and beliefs. We’ll feel more in control. Actually you won’t just feel in control, you’ll actually be more in control.

Destiny starts with our thoughts. Thoughts that are regularly thought become beliefs. Beliefs influence our choices. Our choices determine our destiny.

Michael

Deciding to Forgive

Forgiveness is not an emotion, it’s a decision. – Randall Worley

Forgiving comes in two distinct flavors; forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others. I think, overall, we struggle more to forgive ourselves than we do to forgive others. Either way, forgiveness is vitally important for emotional health and general well-being.

Since forgiveness is a decision, we always have the choice to forgive regardless of the situation. The challenge lies in making that choice. When we are hurt, harbor feelings of guilt or feel strong emotions like anger or fear; it can be hard to even think about forgiveness.

When we don’t forgive, we tend to hold on to the past to the point of emotional constipation. We get backed up. Our emotional bucket is overflowing with past hurts, transgressions and etc. to the point of bursting. We can’t enjoy our lives as much because we have all this “baggage” that we have decided to hold on to. Not forgiving is a key factor in stopping or slowing emotional growth. We lean towards pessimism and other negative emotional states more than if we regularly forgive.

The choice to forgive, either ourselves or others, is a choice of living life to the fullest. It’s a choice of moving towards being happier. It’s a choice to experience the world with a sense of optimism and hope. It’s a choice to be responsible for our own feelings and take back our own power. It’s a choice to live in the present moment as opposed to the past.

Choice forgiveness and you will feel the freedom that choice brings.

Have a great day!

Michael

Know Yourself

You have to start knowing yourself so well that you begin to know other people. A piece of us is in every person we can ever meet. – Stephen King, Night Shift

Everyone we meet has characteristics of ourselves. The more we learn about ourselves, the better we will know others when we meet. Many times when we get angry at other people, it’s because we are seeing something about ourselves that we don’t like. It can be conscious or unconscious, but I find it is mostly unconscious. It’s almost like looking in a mirror and seeing things we don’t like about ourselves.

If we get angry at someone that is controlling, it typically means that we are a controlling person. If we react to someone being very picky, it usually means that we are picky ourselves. I find it a strange phenomenon, but most of the time I examine myself, I found that it to be true.

So, if we can hold back our reaction to people and look inside we might be surprised at what we find. Everyone can teach us something about ourselves. It requires non-reaction, self-reflection and openness to change.

The next time someone is bothering you or making you angry, ask yourself what can you learn from this person. What parts that you don’t enjoy about them can be found within you? You just might grow by leaps and bounds.

Michael

Forget What the World Thinks of You

Forget conventionalisms; forget what the world thinks of you stepping out of your place; think your best thoughts, speak your best words, work your best works, looking to your own conscience for approval. – Susan B. Anthony

Forget what people think about you. Forget what the world thinks about you. Just focus on being who you are at any given moment.

The ultimate approval should come from you. You determine if you are being who you want to be. Only you can judge that. No one else. But, don’t take the word judge to mean heavy criticism, or that you have done something wrong. I mean it solely from the aspect of evaluating if you are where you want to be and are doing what you want to do in life. If you’re not, then you always have the choice of changing. If you are then fantastic!

A lot of people feel bad or guilty or ashamed or afraid of being themselves. Too often we look to others to determine what we should be. I say stop the madness. No one knows better than you.

So, just relax. Don’t compromise yourself because of what others say. That’s the only way to be.

Michael

1000th Post

Today’s post is the 1000th post since I started this blog almost three years ago. This is a major milestone for me. It only seems like yesterday when I started writing on a daily basis. But, 1000 days later, here I am.

It’s hard to tell if many people read what I have to say. I know of some, but most I don’t. That’s okay, because I had two goals for this blog project. The first was to journal what I was thinking, feeling or experiencing on any given day especially on the topic of living a happier life. The second was that I wanted to share that writing with at least one other person, hopefully more. I’ve met both of those goals.

I have to say that I have had a multitude of emotions over the last 1000 days while writing down my thoughts. At times it has been easy while other days extremely difficult. I’ve had insights that I’ve enjoyed while other days I couldn’t seem to think myself out of an open box. I’ve felt exhilaration and I’ve felt frustration. The common thread has been perseverance and dedication.

Bottom line, I’ve enjoyed this project. That’s my only reason for doing anything nowadays. I don’t have the time or the inclination for anything else. I want to extract the most out of my life. Doing things that make me miserable is not my idea of a fulfilling life. So, I look for ways to be happier and many times I’ve chronicled those techniques here. Not all will work for you, but many will. We all have to find our own way. That’s okay, but we can all help each other just a little.

The number 1000 is a great number to me. It feels like the completion of something; not the end of something, more like a chapter closing.

I look forward to what the next chapter brings. I’ll be sharing some of that right here.

Michael

Smile a Lot

Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad. – Christina Rossetti, “Remember”

There are no language barriers when you are smiling. – Allen Klein

Smiles are like medicine for the soul. Just the act of smiling, even for no reason, can lift your spirits. It seems that in almost every culture a smile means the same thing. That is amazing to me.

I smile a lot; sometimes alone, but many times with other people. I smile at strangers. Some smile back. Some don’t. I smile at friends. Some smile back. Some don’t.

I smile when I’m alone. I smile for no reason at all. I smile at the small things. I smile at the big things in life. I really don’t need a huge reason to smile. It comes naturally, but I got to this point consciously and with focused effort.

There is very little effort now. For me, smiles come easy and spontaneously. If I find myself around some grumpy, non smiling people, I seem to go into overdrive to compensate for the lack of smiles.

Contrary to current beliefs, we’re supposed to have fun. So, I take my smiles very seriously. 🙂

Have a great day!

Michael

Insatiable Curiosity

Fascination is one step beyond interest. Interested people want to know if it works. Fascinated people want to learn how it works. – Jim Rohn

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind. – Samuel Johnson

I am extremely curious about a wealth of things, people, places and etc. I continually find “stuff” that intrigues me and I immediately start asking dozens of questions, sometimes to the dismay of those around me.  🙂

I find the world fascinating and I’m never at a loss to learn something new. I take inspiration for my general obsession about things from children. They are the ultimate curious humans. The world is fresh and new to them. They are intensely amazed at everything around them and can’t seem to get enough information. I love their passion for exploration and desire to experience everything.

Children can teach adults a lot about living, about passion, about living in the moment, about the beauty of the world around us and about getting inspiration from the simple things in life.

I’ll never apologize for my curiosity. I’m thankful I’m that way.

Michael

Pick Your Company

Join with those who sing, tell stories, enjoy life and have joy in their eyes—because happiness is contagious….Join those who walk with their heads held high, even though they have tears in their eyes. Stay away from those who hold their heads high because they’ve never shed a tear. – Paulo Coelho

The people we choose to spend our time with can subtly influence our moods and state of mind. It’s a form of peer pressure but not as overt. If you hang out with people who are continually talking in a negative fashion, it can wear on you. You slowly become involved in their less than positive conversation and before you know you are not feeling well. It usually happens slowly over time, but it happens.

Diligence and being conscious of these types of people and their conversations is critical for maintaining a positive state of mind. I choose my friends carefully. I do not want to be around people who complain, moan, continually criticize and have an overall negative view of the world. I’ve worked hard to be where I am and do not want to go back to the “old” ways.

Sometimes these choices can be hard because the negative individual is a close friend or family member. That doesn’t mean you should continue to associate with them. I’ll typically drop some positive comments and see if I can re-direct a negative conversation. If I have no effect, then I move on. I don’t believe in forcing people to be something they are not. I believe in being who I am which is optimistic and positive.

My happiness does not depend on whether others are happy. Everyone has the choice. I choose those who enjoy life and want to have fun. I also don’t judge where they are in their life. I just choose to be somewhere else.

Have a great day!

Michael