Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

You may have noticed the blog has been a little quiet lately, but I have been working a lot and decided to end the year with a little break from the computer to spend more time with my family. I will have one more post this year...looking back on 2012 and looking forward to 2013, then we'll be back to normal in January.

"This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!"
                         -D.M. Dellinger

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hard Work

In a world where people constantly talk about work-life balance, earning passive income and four-hour work weeks, we sometimes lose sight of the fact there are times when you have to put in the time and the work to get the job done.

Don't be fooled into thinking you will never have to put in extra hours or miss some days off in doing what you love. Working your ass off does not mean you are means that you are working your ass off. Happiness with your work does not always have a correlation with the number of hours you put in. Sometimes you have to burn that midnight oil, but this is no reason to think you aren't doing what you are supposed to be doing.

Do what needs to get done. Do it well, no matter how long it takes. But, if you are going to work long, hard hours, make sure you are doing something you love. It makes doing the work a whole lot easier and more fun.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Take A Deep Breath And Start Again

I mess up a lot. I fail quite often. I get uncomfortable making small talk and often say stupid things. I make a lot of mistakes. I don't have my shit together. I have started a lot of things I haven't finished. I have trouble keeping with an exercise plan. I become frustrated, angry, disappointed, sad, bitter and fed up, sometimes all in the same day. I look back at my life and wish I had done some things differently. I think about my past and feel guilty for things I did. I allow fear to keep me from doing things. I become cynical and sarcastic way too easily. I do a lot of things wrong. I procrastinate. I don't always give my all.

I have a life I am proud of. I get to go to work each day and help animals and people have better lives. I have the ability to make changes in my life and stick with them when I need to. I have amazing people around me who don't care about the first paragraph. When I fail, I get back up. I wake up every morning knowing the day is a fresh start to do new things. I try to incorporate what I write about into my life, even when I am not always perfect at doing it. I accept the fact I have done stupid things in the past and forgive myself for doing them. I try to overcome fear whenever I can. I work hard. I am constantly learning new things.

I'm not an expert in how to live life anymore than any of you are. I have done a lot of things and I have faced a lot of hardships, but I am still learning and growing each and every day. I'm going to continue to make mistakes and fail and say stupid things. I am going to do things I am not proud of. I'm also going to succeed and do things right and say smart things. I am going to do things I am proud of.

I have to give myself some credit and cut myself some slack. I have to learn. I have to try. I have to accept and embrace change. I have to put in the work. I have to get up when I fall. I have to try to live each day a little better than the day before. I have to take a deep breath and start again.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Be Calm In Your Heart

We are constantly surrounded by noise, trouble and hard work, but for many of us, we are rarely at peace. We have a hard time being calm in our heart. We are constantly rushing around, contributing to the noise and chaos. It can become frustrating being enveloped by this chaos, but this frustration only leads further and further away from the peace we desire. Being outwardly calm doesn't always equal being calm in your heart, but it can start you along the path towards peace.

One thing we all need to do is become better at accepting things as they are, especially when we can not change them. This acceptance helps to alleviate the frustrations and dampens the din around us. Part of being calm is knowing there are things of which you have no control and accepting this. We can't change everything about the world around us, but when we realize this, the world around us will change for us. As illogical as this sounds, the way we view the world makes the world what it is for us.

Let go of the frustrations over the things you can't control. Take control over the things you can. When you are able to orchestrate the things you can and feel no frustration towards the things you can't, calmness will begin to find it's way into your heart. As with every great thing we do, this won't be easy and will take time and practice. The more you practice, the easier it will become. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Do What Needs To Be Done

This is one of those times when the pictures says it all. Don't wait for someone else to do what you can do. Get out there and do what needs to be done.

Stop waiting for the right time or the right place or the right people or the right anything. The right time is now. You are in the right place. You are the right person. Do the work and make your world exactly what you want it to be. 

Live the life you want to live and build the things you want to see. It's not always going to be easy, but with hard work and belief in yourself, you can do anything.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top Five Regrets

What kind of life are you leading?

Will you be lying on your death bed, hopefully many years from now, expressing these same regrets?

What has to happen before we all wake up and realize we have a finite time and we better get started living the life we want to live?

Looking at these five regrets, we know how to get started. Live the life you want to live. Don't let other people tell you what you should be doing. Have fun with it...this is your life to live in any way you choose. Do crazy things. Take risks. Fail often. Have an adventure. Have many adventures. Do the things that scare you. Be true to yourself.

Tell the people you love that you love them. Tell them often. Don't ever stop telling them. Keep these people as close to you as you can. Don't let time or distance or petty difference keep you from remaining close to the people who add value to your life.

The last regret is the hardest. Happiness really is a choice we have to make. We can control how we view the world and how we react to everything happening around us. Give yourself permission to enjoy life, to be happy, to do the things you want to do, to make the life you want to make. You have the ability to do it. Now, you just have to give yourself permission to be happy.

Every second is another chance to change you life into the one you really want. You have the opportunity to leave this life without any of these regrets. What choice will you make? What kind of life are you going to lead?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Making Memories

Although it has been unseasonably warm here in the Midwest, December has arrived and people are gearing up for the holiday season. More and more money will be spent as consumers chase those "perfect" gifts designed to show the recipient just how much the giver loves them. Kids are waiting for with bated breath to see what Santa will bring, hoping they get all the new stuff they asked him to bring.

For many people, shopping during this time of year has become a game. We spend all of our time finding the best deals and weaving in and out of the crowds, looking for that special something that will have our loved one smiling when they open it. We want to give each person the best gift of the year, so the act of giving has even become a competition of who buys the best presents. Shopping can become stressful if you can't find that perfect something for a person on your list (and we have all shopped for that one person who is just hard to shop for).

Is this really what the holiday season means to you? What's the point? We spend so much more time buying gifts for the people we love than we do actually spending time with these people. Many people will buy gifts on credit and the sport of giving puts them into debt. How many of the gifts you purchase actually get used for longer than a month?

What would happen if we actually spent time with the people we love instead of spending all the time shopping for the people we love? What if we didn't give so much stuff, but instead gifted experiences? What if we made memories, instead of going further into debt? How much happier of a season would this become?

We don't have to spend all of our time shopping. We can have dinner parties and go to movies and listen to music and just hang out with the people we care about. We can snuggle up on the couch with the person we love and watch a sappy holiday movie. Give your family the gift of you instead of more stuff that will just end up on the shelf in January. If you really want to give people things, make something for them.

If we want to show people we love them, then we should do it by spending more time with them instead of giving them more stuff. I know I am going to remember the times I have spent with my family and friends much longer than I will remember the gifts they give me each year. We have lots of stuff, but we can never have enough memories. Our memories will last much longer than stuff we normally give and receive. How many memories can you make this holiday season?