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Archive for the ‘choose to be happy’ Tag

Quick Thought   Leave a comment

A long time ago I used to go to college. This was the late 90’s early 2000’s.  Because the university I went to was in a city 150 miles from where I graduated I opted to live in student housing.  I also worked for the university in a few different positions, including the front desk of the hall I lived in.

One of the better parts of the job was getting to greet almost all the residents.  I say almost all because there were those dedicated few who just didn’t want to socialize and would go so far as to ignore people who talked to them.  I respected their right to solitude and quickly learned the few and would only look up to see if they were walking by or up to the desk.  If they were clearly walking by I’d look back at what I was doing, usually studying, and leave them be.

And then there was the other end of the spectrum.  The super sociable who loved to be greeted back home each time they walked in the door.  My favorite being a guy named John.  He’d say the same thing every time you greeted him with a “how are you doing today?”

“Peachy keen as always,” was the response every time.  Sunny day, “peachy keen as always.”  Rainy day, same thing.  At the beginning of the fall semester when it was still nice and warm outside he was “peachy keen as always.”  Then at the end of the semester when it was freezing cold and dark most of the day, same response.  There just wasn’t a time this guy wasn’t “peachy keen as always.”

We used to wonder if there was something wrong with him.  How could you be happy all the time?  It’s not natural, right?  I mean there had to be some events going on in this guy’s life that were not good.  Tragedy, in some form, befalls everyone.  How could he truly be “peachy keen as always?”

I get now what he got then.  He was always that way because he chose to be.  He decided that no matter what came his way he’d take it with a smile on his face.  Even the bad stuff.

We all have that choice.  We can’t decide what will or won’t happen to us, but we can decide how we’ll react.  Whether events rule us or we rule them.  When we decide to rule them our life truly can be grateful at all times, if that’s what we want.

It took me a while but I learned his lesson.  So the other day when I went to Starbucks in Athens, Alabama the barista asked me how I was doing.  And with great pleasure I responded, “peachy keen as always.”  I hope you come to feel that way too.  Have a great day.  Peace.

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Quick Thought   Leave a comment

The human brain is often compared to a computer.  But that isn’t really a perfect analogy.  In a computer you can input the data once and the computer will always remember it, even if you don’t access it for a week, or a month, or a year.  The brain is more of a “use it or lose it” kind of operation.  Also, a computer is a static device.  The parts it has in the configuration they are in will be the same today as tomorrow no matter what input you place in it.  The brain grows according to focus.  And it connects like with like.

So the more time you spend dwelling on a particular thought or emotion the more you solidify it in your mind.  You also grow that area of your brain.  And those areas will reach out and make connections to other areas that are similar or that you associate the emotion with.

The more time you spend on one input the less you spend on another.  So if you spend more time focusing on good and happy thoughts that build and nurture, you have less time to spend thinking negative thoughts that tear your down and harm you.  This builds the happy areas of your brain, connects you better with that happiness, and also over time causes the negative areas to fade away and lose power.

An easy way to do this is to devote a little bit of time in the morning and night to reading a list of positive affirmations.  You can use a list that you create so it’s personalized to you, or you can use a list you’ve downloaded from the internet.  If you use Google images to search for “positive affirmation list” you’ll come up with plenty of options.  Just find the ones that speak to you or you feel a pull towards.

As soon after you wake up in the morning as you can, take the list out and just read through it 3-5 times, depending on how long the list is and how much time you can devote to the practice.  At the end of the day, preferably right before you go to sleep, read the list 3-5 times again.  If you want to have a separate list for morning and evening that works too.  Also, if you have down time during the day, or just feel you need a pick me up, go ahead and read the list again for as long as time permits.

It’s just that simple.  It takes a short amount of time out of your day.  Over time the practice reinforces the happy parts of your brain, making you naturally happier.  And it becomes a positive feedback loop.  So even when you’re not reading your list your thoughts will tend to be happier.  And over time the negativity will fade away.

So before you go to bed tonight make, or download, a list and check it twice (or 3-5 times).  Program your brain daily and the connection between yourself and happiness will literally become thicker and thicker until there is only room for happiness in your mind.  Have a great day.  Peace.

 

When Life Hands You Donuts, And You’re Keto.   Leave a comment

Today at work we were treated to a lunch of deli sandwiches, chips, cookies, and donuts.  Not exactly the healthiest fare.  And most certainly not keto.  It’s easy to look at the spread and think “well I can’t participate in this” and avoid the break room entirely.  But you can always make the best of any situation.

How could I participate in this decidedly non-keto meal?  Well there were actually a few options.  It just required my being attentive.  The first option was the deli sandwiches.  They were either turkey, chicken, or ham served on a ciabatta bun with romaine lettuce, tomato, and cheese.  The sauces were on the side so you could add them to taste.  All I had to do was remove the ciabata bun and the rest of the sandwich was keto.  Was it as filling as eating the whole sandwich?  No, but then again one of the nice things about the keto diet is not feeling hungry so I don’t eat as much anyway.  Each deli sandwich came with a pickle, which is also keto, and not everyone likes pickles.  So I was able to get a couple extra spears that way.

The donuts, which were from the beginning of the day as a “breakfast” food were also served with coffee.  The donuts were obviously a no go but black coffee is not only allowed on the keto diet, it’s actually helpful.  The water volume helps with satiety and the caffeine in the coffee helps rev up the metabolism.

So I was able to partake, I just needed to focus on the few good things I could have, and not focus on the wide spread of things I shouldn’t have.  I just picked the best options for me from all the available ones so that I could enjoy the provided meal with the crew.

And that brings up the last option I had for making the best of the situation.  Let’s assume none of the food would work for me.  Maybe the sandwiches were made with a sugary dressing.  Or it was all just cookies and donuts.  I still had a final option available and that was just grab a cup of coffee and hang out with the gang anyway.  I’ve fasted for just over two days before so certainly I can make it through one lunch hour.  And the point of the meal was to socialize while eating.  Even if I couldn’t eat I didn’t have to deny myself the opportunity to socialize.  Especially since the socializing was the best part.

And that’s how we should view all situations presented to us in life.  Don’t focus on what we’re denied.  Focus on what works or is good for us.  Like going to the store and the only parking spots are on the far end of the lot.  Don’t focus on how it sucks you’re so far from the building, focus on how you’re getting in extra steps unexpectedly which is good for your health.  When you go into the store to buy some food and your favorite brand is out of stock don’t focus on the lack.  Focus on the opportunity to try something new.  Then you get into your car and start driving home and the roads blocked due to an accident.  Don’t focus on the hold up.  Focus on how you’re getting a few extra minutes to meditate you didn’t realize you’d get.  Focus on how you get to try a different way home tonight.  Or better yet focus on how lucky you are that you go there after the accident and not during.

Regardless of the situations you find yourself in this week, make the best of them.  You always have a choice of viewing things in a positive way, or a negative one.  And being positive just feels so much better.  So give it a try.  Find your silver lining and make it a great day anyway.  Peace and happiness.

New Vlog Up on YouTube   Leave a comment

From a physiological perspective there is no difference between how your body reflects fear or excitement.  The only real difference between the two is how your perceive it.  And that’s true of many things.  A situation in and of itself isn’t positive or negative, it only becomes one or the other depending on how you view it.  So choose to be happy.  Here’s the vlog on this topic.  If you agree, or even if you disagree, feel free to leave a comment here (or on YouTube) saying why so we can have a great discussion about it.  If you like the vlog please leave a Like on YouTube for me, I’d greatly appreciate it.  Subscribe and click the bell if you want to be immediately notified every time I upload a video.  Have a great day.