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Archive for the ‘make every day a happy day’ Tag

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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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Just had something happen that I thought I would share with you all.  When the weather outside is like it is here in northern Alabama I’ll sometimes do my walk indoors.  It isn’t ideal but it gets the steps in.  When I walk outdoors it’s easy to know when the walk is over.  I walk around the block and when I return home I’m done.  When I walk indoors though there isn’t an end point to let me know the walk is over.

As such I follow the same routine when I walk indoors.  I put my headphones on so I have something to listen to, which is currently the Audible version of Mind Gym: Achieve More By Thinking Differently by Sebastian Bailey, PhD and Octavius Black.  I then will start the  Exercise app on my Apple Watch to track the workout.  Finally, so I know when I’m done without having to look at my wrist all the time, I’ll set a 15 minute countdown timer.  I just took a walk indoors and forgot to include the last step.

I was walking back and forth listening to the book.  I’m liking the information being presented.  The person reading it, Ralph Lister, has both a great voice and a wonderful British accent.  I had been walking a while and was curious how long I had left and I looked down at the Apple Watch.  Just under 20 minutes had passed and it didn’t even feel like I had reached the 15 minute mark.

I had gotten distracted by the audiobook and didn’t realize that much time had passed.  Which brings up an interesting point, which can be summed up in a quote from Seneca.  “We suffer more in imagination than in reality.”  Sometimes we make things worse by assuming a negative mindset.  Like being at work and watching the clock. Time slows down because we want out, but it’s the same hour as any other hour of the day.  Or the weights being harder today because they feel heavier, even though we know they’re the same dumbbells we lifted last time.  Our mindset is what’s making it harder.

So if suffering more in imagination can make thinks worse, why not use your imagination to make things seem better?  I did by accident and my 20 minute walk only seemed like 15.  Work could be over before you realize it because you were so busy being happy.  Who knows, you might be so positive you accidentally put in another rep with those dumbbells.  Worst case scenario is you were happy for no reason.  And I think that’s a risk worth taking.  Have a great day.  Peace.

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I have a friend who has a favorite statement, “It is what it is.”  The phrase is certainly not his creation, nor is it unique to him, but I would definitely call it his catch phrase.  It’s his go to response when something bad happens.  And it’s a very stoic response.  Good, bad, or ugly a situation is what it is and you just have to accept it as is.

Or do you?  While I appreciate the sentiment, that there’s no use getting mad about a situation that has already happened, it’s not entirely true.  A better way of phrasing the thought would be “It is what you make it.”

Viewing things as “It is what it is” suggests that you have absolutely no control in the situation.  It’s totally beyond you.  But in all situations you always have one absolute level of control, and that’s how you respond to it.

For example, you just got off of work and are ready to head home when you go out to your car and one of the tires is flat.  “It is what it is” reminds you that getting mad about the flat tire doesn’t fix it.  “It is what it is” reminds you that being mad won’t make changing the tire any easier.  In fact, getting mad could make it worse.  Certainly there isn’t anything wrong with responding to the situation with an “It is what it is” attitude and just fixing the flat in peace.

But what if you had an “It is what you make it” attitude?  Instead of this being a flat you just have to take care of, you could view it as a way to test your life skills.  You don’t change the tire very often so now you get to take a moment to show that you are self-sufficient.  You could ask a coworker to stick around and keep you company while you change the tire.  It is what you made it, a chance to socialize with your coworker.  If your coworker can’t stay, is there some problem you’ve been meaning to devote some time to?  If it is what you make it, this time just became thoughtful time to work on that problem.

While accepting things for what they are in an emotionally even way is a good thing, why not choose to take control instead?  It is what it is can be good, but why settle for good?  Choose it to be what you make it to be and make it great.  Have a great day.  Peace.

 

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Every year on this day, those who celebrate Christmas enjoy a day of giving and receiving. Whether it be with friends or family we love coming together to swap gifts and share a delicious meal.  Christmas is a very special day and I love taking part in it.

But it’s just one day out of the whole year. Of course we also just had Thanksgiving in the United States, where we spend time remembering all the things we’re grateful for.  On July 4th, also in the United States, we celebrate our freedom.  Now we’re up to three.

There are a few other holidays we celebrate every year here in the United States.  And in other countries they have holidays to remember important historical events or times to focus on aspects their lives.

So the question is, what are you doing with the other days?  While placing gifts under the Christmas Tree is a fun tradition, why wait until Christmas to give a gift to someone you love?  And wouldn’t the world be a better place if we didn’t always wait for December 25th to wish for peace on Earth and good will to all men?

How much better do you think your life would be if instead of waiting for every Thanksgiving to remember what blessings you’ve been granted in your life, you took stock of that every day?  Or instead of having a big meal with the whole family once a year, how better in touch would you be if you did it once a month?

Don’t get me wrong.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having these special days to call special attention to these thoughts and feelings.  But there’s also nothing wrong with having these feelings and embracing them every day of the year.

So be thankful for your blessings every day.  And two months from now if you find a wonderful gift your friend would just love, go ahead and give it to them now.  There’s just no wrong time of the year for happiness.  Have a great day.