Archive for the ‘practice being happy’ Tag

Quick Thought 2019-04-15   Leave a comment

Tax day if you live in the United States of America.  I, thankfully, got mine done a while ago so I wasn’t rushing at the last minute to get it in.  And you don’t want to miss the deadline, at least not without getting an extension.  Miss the deadline and not only do you get to pay the taxes you get to pay a fine as well.

And nobody really wants to pay the fine.  It’s probably safe to say that nobody really wants to pay the taxes.  It’s just an accepted part of living in America.  But if America could run tax-free, I’m guessing that nobody would be taking a portion of their paycheck and sending it to Uncle Sam just because they can.

Even though nobody would pay a tax to the government that they didn’t have to, so many people on a regular basis willingly pay a “tax” they could avoid without so much as a complaint.  What tax is this?

It’s the tax we put on our bodies by the actions we take each day.  Whether it be the foods we eat, the mindset we keep, or what we regularly do to our bodies.

When you eat foods that are bad for you it makes your body run inefficiently.  Processed foods that are devoid of any real nutrition just don’t burn cleanly in the body and cause free radical damage.  Think of it like bad gasoline.  It makes the motor run horribly and can clog up the fuel lines.  We’d never willingly do that to our car but we do it all the time to our bodies when we don’t eat clean.

How about that mindset?  When we fill our minds with negative thoughts that creates stress.  When we believe that our life is terrible that creates depression.  When we don’t see a bright future we create apathy.  All of these emotions are negative.  And negative emotions, especially over the long haul, have a detrimental effect on the body.

And what about our bodies?  If you had a great car but left it in the garage all the time, parked in one place never to be moved, that great car will go bad over time.  Just like a car needs to be driven, so does your body.  Sitting around watching tv or being on the internet is sedentary and will create issues with your body over time.  Or what about all the chemicals we take in using the products we choose to?  Some people even go the extra tax mile by smoking and doing drugs.  Alcohol, other than in moderate amounts, isn’t doing you any favors either.

Eating poorly, thinking poorly, and exercising poorly are all bad for the body.  They, in effect, tax your body.  The difference between that tax and the one you, hopefully, paid by today is that you don’t have to pay the tax on your body.  In fact, unlike the tax you owe the treasury, you don’t get punished for failure to pay.  You instead receive a benefit.

So think about the actions you take each day.  Are they a tax on your body?  If so, just choose not to pay the tax.  Are they a savings?  Then build up the health account for your body so that when you’re older you’ll be able to live a healthy and active life.  The choice is yours.  Have a great day.  Peace.

Weekly Vlog 2019-03-27   Leave a comment

This week’s vlog is up on YouTube.  It’s about worry and what you can do about it.  Hope you enjoy it.  Leave a Like if you do.  If you agree, or even if you disagree, leave a comment here or there.  Subscribe and click the bell if you want to be immediately notified every time I post a video to YouTube.  Hope you’re having a great day.  Peace.

Weekly Weigh In 2019-03-18   Leave a comment

Here is my weekly weigh in video.  Very happy with this week’s results.  Also happy with a new product I’m trying.  Watch the video to get the low down on how things went this past week.  If you enjoy the video please leave a Like.  Subscribe and click the notification bell on YouTube if you’re interested in being immediately notified every time I upload a video to YouTube.  Hope you’re having a great day and a great week.  Peace.

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.

The Five People You Associate With Most   Leave a comment

It’s a concept that has been around for quite some time.  You’re the sum of the five people you hang around with the most.  It isn’t an exact science.  You aren’t the literal sum of those people.  If you showed me five people I couldn’t calculate specifically what the man, or woman, hanging out with them would be like.  But overall it is a true concept.

If you hang around with people who think “this is it, this is all that I ever will be” what are the chances that you’ll be a person with goals and ambitions?  Not very high.  Even if you started out without that limiting belief, how long would it take, being reminded daily by your five that “this is it”, before you just came to accept it as true?

If your five just likes sitting around all day and watching movies on the tv, or perhaps playing Xbox or Playstation, what do you think your waistline is likely to measure in at?  Do you think that if you suggested that you should all go out for a walk that would go over really well?  I’m guessing you wouldn’t have many takers.  So instead you just sit there with them and do as they do.

If your five likes to hang out after work at a local diner for grub and smokes, are you going to wear a mask and eat a salad?  Unlikely, since we associate with the group we hang with.  I used to do this.  I didn’t smoke myself, but sitting at a booth when everyone else does made that more of a semantic than a fact.  And I certainly wasn’t eating healthy, and it showed.

Whoever your five are, and however they behave, we all have an inherent desire to fit in.  So when the five does something unhealthy, we do it with them.  When the five engages in negativity, we get negative too.  If the five assumes the worst in every situation, we don’t boldly stand up and say “Not me, not today.  I’m thinking positive!”  No, we acquiesce to the group mindset and start planning for the worst.

So the five we hang out with are vitally important to our life and well-being.  Who are your five?

Are they your coworkers?  We spend 40 hours a week with these people, not counting thinking about work on the way in and decompressing from work on the way home.  Are your coworkers happy?  Do they look at the future brightly?  Or do they go on about how work sucks?  Do they spend the 40 hours wishing they didn’t work there?  Do they gossip about other workers behind their backs?

Are they friends?  Would they spend all day staring at a wall if they could?  Do they assume the worst in others?  Do they sit around all day engaging in frivolous tasks?  Or do they go out for hikes?  Do they spend time looking for ways to make life better?  Do they find the best in others because they’re always looking for the best?

Are they your family?  Have they told you that your family is at a certain station in life and that’s just how it is for you, too?  When you tell them your plans do they offer criticisms and limiting beliefs?  Or do they help you find a way to make your plans happen?  When you tell them of your long-term goals do they gleefully dream big with you, or remind you that you need to be realistic?  And by realistic they mean keep your aim low so as not to disappoint yourself.

Here’s the thing.  It doesn’t matter who your five is.  And it doesn’t matter why those five are the way they are.  The commonality in everything I mentioned above is you.  No matter who those five are, you are chosing to associate with them.  Are those five building you up or knocking you down?  Do they nurture, or neutralize?  Are they your cheerleaders?  Or are they the millstone tied around your neck?

When it comes to coworkers, friends, and family you have the ultimate decision of who you spend your time with.  You have to decide what’s most important.  You have to decide who is most important.  If the people in your life right now are not there to help you become the best version of yourself, is that their fault, or yours?  If you work in a negative environment then you need to decide.  Which is more important, happiness or your paycheck?  I’d rather earn less and smile more.  If your friends are sedentary or have negative attitudes, the blame lies in your choice to be with them instead of people who will lift you up and make you whole.

Even when it comes to the big one, family, you still have to decide.  I’m not saying it’ll be easy, or fun, but it’s necessary.  If your family has bought into the notion that life is drudgery, and you have to accept your meager status, you have to choose to leave or stay.  That’s on you.  I’m not saying never see your family again, just make sure that you spend the majority of your time with a new five that makes you better, healthier, and happier.  Who knows, maybe when you do go back and spend time with the fam and they see what you’ve become some of them might jump the ship to the happy boat, too.

The key is to remember that you aren’t being selfish taking care of yourself.  Refusing to spend time with negative old friends or family who bring you down isn’t self-centered, it’s self-preserving.  It all goes back to the concept of you can’t fill a cup from an empty pitcher.  Chosing who you associate with wisely is about putting yourself first, which isn’t a bad thing no matter how many times you’ve been told it is.  When you make yourself whole first you’re a better person for everyone whose life you’ll touch because you’ll be touching those lives in a positive way.  And that’s not a good thing, that’s a great thing.

So spend some time considering who your five are and start making choices.  If they aren’t the five that’s best for you start thinking about who your ideal five would be and get to looking for people who fill that bill.  It’s good for you, it’s good for them, and eventually that’ll make things good for everyone.  All because you didn’t just choose, you chose wisely.  Have a great week.  Peace.

New Vlog up on YouTube   Leave a comment

It’s about not being perfect, which is ok.  I know I’m not.  I proved it in this video.  At 1:30 into the video I accidentally said that 8 days of bad eating isn’t going to override 2 days of good.  Obviously, I meant it the other way around that 2 days of good eating won’t override the 8 days of bad.  Why did I leave it in there?  The overall point of the video is that it’s ok to make mistakes.  It’s the majority of how we live our lives that matter, not the momentary mistakes.  That one little misspeak doesn’t make the whole video bad in my view so I left it in.  So here’s the video.  Like and Subscribe on YouTube if you’re so inclined.  Comment here or there if you have agreements, or disagreements, and/or ways to improve my videos.  Even just topics you’d like to hear me speak on.  Enjoy the video and have a great day.

Quick Thought   2 comments

So I applied for a job last night that requires good typing skills.  Not exceptional typing skills but good ones.  I’m getting up early tomorrow to go in and take a typing test before I head to work.  As such I decided it may be a good idea to take an online typing test to see how rusty I am.

Turns out I’m plenty rusty.  The last time I took a typing test to look for a job was over a decade and a half ago.  Adjusted for no errors my typing speed was 67 words per minute.  I was actually faster than that I just oops’d a few times knocking my score down.  When the woman told me my speed I was a little disappointed.  I knew I was faster than that. She was surprised.  She said my speed was well above most who tested for the job (Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles, if you were curious).  That was my last official typing speed test.

Tomorrow I have to beat 35 words per minute. Remembering my last official test I wasn’t too worried when I heard that.  After a few practice tests online, I’m still not worried, but also not quite as cocky as I was earlier.  My first go was 45 words per minute, well under my old speed.  And my accuracy was just a smidge over 90%.  Not my best showing, even if it would have counted as a pass on the typing test.  I did the test over a few times and I’ve gotten my speed back up to 64 words per minute over a couple of tests.  So I’m certain I’ll do fine on the typing test.

Why do I bring this up?  Simply, I had a good skill back in the day that I lost to a certain extent because I didn’t make use of it.  I typed all the time back then.  I was in college and had tons of papers to write.  And a very bad habit of putting them off until the last minute.  So quick typing was a necessity.  Now, aside from the blog, I just don’t need to type that much.  So my skill has waned a bit.

Happiness works the same way.  You can’t practice happiness until you get a good “happiness speed” and then coast on it.  It’s a skill you need to hone every day.  If you aren’t practicing happiness and gratitude daily, over time you’ll lose the “skill”.  You just won’t be as happy.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson.  I’m going to test my typing skills regularly.  Maybe even invest in a good typing program to challenge myself.  I’m also going to take this little epiphany to remember to also keep up on my happiness and gratitude practice.  While keeping up my typing skills may land me a good job tomorrow, keeping up my happiness and gratitude skills will land me a good life.  And it can for you too.  Have a great day.