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English Melody 2 The Golden Pond (audiobook mp3)
Very beautiful English articles from famous people.....
Like a very good piece of music, these articles are from the most preform mind and good to listen after a hectic busy work day....
38.The lure of the lifestyle
40.Buy What You Love
41.The Puzzle of Love
42.Is He or She “The One”
43.What Do Women Want
44.Healing a Broken Heart
45.Childless by Choice By Cynthia Burgess
46.12 Steps To Personal Business Success
47.The Joy of SOHO: Making a Life While Making a Living
49.listen to your heart
50.What Brings Happiness
51. Laughter ,A Key to Happines
52.Four Foolproof WAYS TO Improve Our Lives, Today
53.The Meaning of Life
54.If I die today..
38.The lure of the lifestyle
The golden pond The lure of the lifestyle
We stopped at one particularly imposing custom-home still under construction, wondering about the future occupants. Where did this wealth come from?
Although we love our home in a fairly nice neighborhood in San Diego, my wife and I sometimes like to "looky-loo" at new homes—it's a kind of weekend pastime and, who knows, we might find something really special which will tempt us into moving.
A couple of years ago, in one particularly expensive neighborhood, we saw homes that were bigger than we could believe: 15,000 square feet and more. This was right next to a golf club where memberships ran $75,000 a year. We were informed that everyone joined, because everyone joined. What if you didn't play golf? Well, you joined anyway, to socialize with the neighbors. That was simply part of the lifestyle.
We stopped at one particularly imposing custom-home still under construction, wondering about the future occupants. Where did this wealth come from? How many children did these people have, 20? Or, perhaps their extended family—sisters and cousins and aunts—would be living there too? Our brief tour disclosed wings and lobbies and sitting rooms for the usual number of bedrooms (why do the children need lobbies?) plus game rooms and media centers and anterooms galore. The more sensible 3,000 square feet-sized house at the end of the garden turned out to be the "butler's quarters."
Then we bumped into the owners. Gosh, they looked about 25! I just had to ask; it turned out they were 30-ish. They happily disclosed that their current home, not far away, was only 5,000 square feet. Too small, they insisted. How many kids did they have? Two. So, just what did they do for a living? One word explained it all: dot-com. We left, shaking our heads.
Some months later we thought we'd drive by to see whether that dot-com family had moved in yet. There was a big sign out-front.onstruction had stopped mid-way and the big, unfinished house was for sale.
I was curious, so I dug deeper. It turns out that the dot-com IPO was valued at about $50 million, and this guy who was building the palace had sold about $3 million worth of stock during the offering, which valued his 20% stockholding at $10 million. When the stock crashed (to a fraction of the IPO price) and the company folded, his debts and commitments already exceeded the amount he had cashed in plus his stock value, and he was broke. They had made a 10% down payment on the $10 million home, and the bank was now the owner of the unfinished monstrosity. The dot-com "millionaire" was now looking for funding on his next venture.
This type of escalation up the ladder of life is not limited just to the filthy-rich. I remember many years ago, a colleague at work with a salary comparable to mine had a home that seemed much larger. Perhaps he was independently wealthy. Then we both got a similar pay raise, and I heard to my amazement that he was moving to an even larger home. I asked him how he did it and he replied, "The magic of monthly payments!" A few years later, during the aerospace layoffs, I bumped into him again. He had lost his job, his wife had left him, they had sold the house during the divorce, and he was selling office supplies to make a living—a casualty of lifestyle syndrome. Our society boosts people into thinking that wealth accumulates and extrapolates endlessly. And borrowing is based on that misconception. Don't pay cash, when you can borrow and the interest is tax-deductible. When buying a car, many consider only the lease payments, not the price. If you can make the monthly payments, why not buy a boat?
In reality, most assets depreciate, while expenses and liabilities (including interest) mount mercilessly. Many millionaires go bust quite quickly because they don't seem to understand these simple truths. They simply succumb to the lure of the lifestyle.
I know one guy who lives in a relatively humble, rented home but has a luxury car and spends $25,000 a year to play at a tennis club. When I suggested that he could play tennis inexpensively in any one of several local venues, he insisted, "You have to live the lifestyle to meet the right people. Besides, they all see my car, but no one knows where I live!"
I know another lifestyle junkie, a leading light at the ballet and the opera, with another expensive habit: valet parking. When the valet service is free, he still tips the valet five dollars. On one occasion when we met for lunch, the parking lot was largely empty, so I parked right next to the front door, while my friend drove up and grandly handed his keys to the valet. After lunch, we came out together and I drove off right away while my friend waited impatiently for the valet, who was nowhere to be seen.
Now, I don't feel particularly humble or miserly, but I really don't understand the rationale of the luxury lifestyle. In fact, I remember the remark of a guy who ignored the champagne at a fancy reception and asked for a beer. "Hey!" he said, "I'm rich enough to drink what I want, not what looks good."
These days, when I see somebody posturing beyond their means, I remember a Texas cattleman's wisecrack: "Big hat, no cattle!"
Our modern society is hooked on growth, an addiction that is difficult to cure. The old maxim that "hard work generates success" somehow got lost along the way and was replaced by "work smarter, not harder".
For many business leaders, what starts out as ambition often turns to plain old greed. Multi-million $ salaries (plus bonus plus options) are typical for top positions. People live the life-style - expensive homes in several locations, condos on the beach, ski-chalets in Aspen, expensive cars for the family, world travel to the best resorts. This high living is usually at company expense. The property purchases are seldom paid for in cash, and most-often leveraged with bank-loans and mortgages, with deals made on the golf course and the ski-slopes. People actually begin to think that this is the way money is made, that they deserve it because they are better and smarter than most. They hobnob with Presidents and politicians, make large contributions to their campaigns and lobby at the highest levels - they become part of crony capitalism.
All this sounds plausible—until growth and profits falter. Most executives have already changed their lifestyles to accommodate their wealth. It's fun to scale up, but not easy to scale down. This is when deceit begins.
People get used to extrapolating growth and success, especially when it works for a while When growth stops many start to fudge (stretch the truth) hoping that the dip is temporary and can be made up tomorrow. The fudging can quickly turn to lying, and then extends to cheating and stealing. Few people start off dishonestly - most drift into increasingly dubious behavior through insidious wealth addiction.
Here's how creeping criminality occurs for senior executives with bonus plans based on growth and profit goals. During a growth period, goals are met and bonuses are earned consistently. This sets the standard and conditions the life-style. Inevitably, a quarter (stock markets results are announced quarterly) comes up short. Sales that are close (only a matter of a few signatures, the big order will arrive next week) are "booked". Shipments waiting for just a few late components are "shipped-in-place"—print the invoice and pretend that they went out the door. The bonus is in the bag!
But then, the big order is cancelled and the late components never arrive. Now the proverbial "feces hits the fan". The orders and shipments must be "de-booked". But this means that all the already-spent bonuses will need to be refunded. Problems escalate and only a cover-up can save the day—hopefully to be corrected with a boost next quarter. Now the cover-ups have to be covered up and the disease extends quickly to all parts of the business —cash-budgets are met by holding up vendor payments, inventories are boosted by keeping obsolete goods, etc. Cover-ups become part of the culture.
Honest employees (usually at lower than executive level) are usually an unwilling part of the process. In the old days, there wasn't much they could do except complain upwards (where the problem originated). But today, email is the "electronic conscience". At Enron - the current, still unfolding classic chronicle of crony capitalism—emails became the "smoking gun". Beyond the now famous email written by an accounting supervisor to the CEO, now part of congressional testimony, there were literally thousands of emails flying back and forth electronically between employees who were no longer unwitting dupes.
The annual audit is supposed to straighten out the mess. But, it turns out that auditors have lots of leeway in their interpretations. Enron fired their regular auditors (Deloitte & Touche) for not being "aggressive" enough and hired Andersen in their place (both are big-5 auditors). On the golf course among friends, the agreement to be more aggressive seemed simply like agreeing to be smarter than the other old-fashioned, fuddy-duddy bean counters. With potential auditing fees in several tens of millions, Andersen made the deal, innocently enough at first though it quickly turned nasty. The accountants had caught the disease. Now Global Crossing, another big Andersen client appears to be suffering from the same ailment.
The words "aggressive" and "smart" are much admired in modern business. "Aggressive" accounting is mooted as being "smart" enough keep up with the latest legal loopholes and knowing the fine line between avoiding and evading taxes. Most accounting firms (including the Big 5) promote their ability to assist clients in constructing off balance sheet financing within the limits of the law. The use of offshore corporate structures not only to hide these activities, but also to avoid paying US taxes is unethical even if it is legal. The closer they are to the limits of legality, the more they are admired for being able to get away with it. When they start producing results they are recognized as "smart". And the CEO and CFO were "smart" to have hired them. This is exactly how Enron got away with making big profits in some years, not only without paying any taxes, but actually receiving not insignificant cash rebates.
It turns out that the recent Enron debacle—the single largest bankruptcy in history—is only the tip of the iceberg. Off book accounting is not something that was invented by Enron—it is disingenuous for the press and congress to present it as an evil that was invented by them. The big accountants, aided and abetted by large financial institutions, consistently look for tax and legal loopholes and actively market their ability to do just that.
This disease, now called 'Enronitis', is endemic in our system. There are many other companies that have large hidden liabilities off their books a la Enron. Once Pandora's Box is opened all hell could break loose with disastrous consequences to our economy.
You make your list of deceitful-accounting candidates. I have my own.
40.Buy What You Love
Buy What You Love
I used to be a shopaholic.
How many of us can relate to that statement? Yet, when Saturday rolls around, off we go to the nearest boutique or shopping mall to buy more clothes, things, and possessions that we really aren't even sure we need or want.
"But it was on SALE..." is often one of the biggest defenses we use to justify our shopping habits and expenditures.
As someone who truly has been a shop-a-holic (yes, I once spent $10,000 in one two month period on clothes -- my MasterCard entered the MasterCard hall-of-fame for that one!) I can tell you that buying something just because it is "on sale" is not a good reason for making a purchase.
I spent far more money than I needed to simply because a store was going out of business and had too many great deals to pass up. But at what cost did I do this? If I had invested my money in real estate, I could have bought ten times the amount of clothes just three years later. Or, how many starving, hungry people could I have fed, if I had donated that money, instead? Did I need the clothes? Not really. I already had numerous suits, ties, and shirts that I hardly wore more than once a year.
So, if you're finding yourself nodding and saying, "hmm... yes, I DO have a lot of shoes I rarely wear.... yes, I do have more than I need... " then here are a few basic guidelines to help break the pattern and start creating the proactive life on purpose with our elegant -- yet SIMPLE lifestyle we seek:
1. Buy it ONLY if we NEED it and ONLY if we LOVE it. This is the most important guideline.
2. If I buy something new, and have something like it already, then the older something must be donated, given away, or thrown away. This is a basic of clutter clearing that when overlooked creates an abundance of stuff we no longer need cluttering up our lives.
3. If we need it, buy it if it is on sale, if possible, but do not let that be a deterrence to buying. However, buy consumables, furniture, and other things which stay in style longer at the end of seasons, and buy clothing which fades from style at the beginning of the season. We need to buy much less of the "fashion trend" type of clothing and much more of styles which will be staying around for a longer time, so we can maximize our clothing investment.
4. If we haven't worn it in a year, then consider getting rid of it.
5. Find a good tailor. Most of the problems with clothing and fit could be eliminated simply by having good tailor. Also, take outfits to the tailor for fitting any time we've gained or lost more than 5 lbs. Ever seen someone with a double breasted suit with the button in the wrong place? Or a suit that pinches in the middle? A dress that fits funny? Why not get it tailored professionally so we can look our best? That is what elegance is all about, isn't it?
6. If we have not used an item (furniture, gadget, etc.) for over a year, consider donating, selling, or otherwise getting rid of the item. There are some exceptions to this guideline, if collecting a certain item is our passion, but otherwise, this is a healthy guideline to keep our "stuff" simplified.
7. Before buying anything, always ask "Do I need this? Do I LOVE this?" If the answer is "no", then don't buy it.
As we start to buy proactively, with a plan for bringing new things into our life and donating or selling those things we no longer need, we will find your life will be far more free to spend the time doing what we love, rather than being a slave to fashion.
41.The Puzzle of Love
The puzzle of Love
With Valentine’s Day at mid-month, February is the month of love and romance with cards, candy, flowers and gifts exchanged between loved ones.
Love is everywhere. The language of love is universal. Amour, Amore, Amor, Liebe, Karlek, Mowg, Laska, Lyubof, Agape. By any name, love makes the world go 'round. People don’t just love, they "fall" into it, as if by accident. It causes broken hearts and offers the keys to happiness. People suffer incredible hardships and even give up kingdoms for it.
For an analytic like me, this brings up the question - what is Love? What is this mysterious condition, at once a panacea and affliction? How does it come about?
In real life, many appear to have selection criteria for love, or think they do. "Cute" (physically appealing) is usually at the top of the list; but then a cute girl, or guy, sounds stupid, and the attraction quickly declines. One bachelor I know keeps finding fault with all the women he meets — teeth too big, hair too long, etc., ad infinitum — which is why he is still a bachelor.
It is interesting to note the different (and often conflicting) preferences. In some cultures "plump" may be attractive (indicating that the prospective mate is healthy and well-fed), while in the West "thin is in." A hero is often described as "tall, dark and handsome"; the villain is presumably short, pale-skinned and ugly. Of course, short girls would probably prefer short guys. Perhaps "dark" indicates a rugged, outdoor look, as opposed to a nerdy bookworm. But then, these days techy types are in style. And what exactly is ugly? Bald is usually negative, though Capt. Picard evidently attracts a lot of admiring females.
Unaccountably, chance meetings bring "love at first sight" and the inexplicable attraction of "soul-mates." Fate changes everything.
In the West, most people seek their own partners in the social environment — at church, in a bar, at work or at a party. But in some cultures young people don’t make their own choice. Parents feel that the young don’t have enough wisdom, and so they select partners for their children. The bride and groom may not even meet until the wedding day, though in modern times they may be allowed to see photos or even have a couple of discreet dates. Some claim a much better success rate for arranged marriages, over the seemingly random western selection process. But I suspect that the cultures where parental selection is common also have a strong prohibition against divorce, which skews the results-many couples remain in unhappy marriages.
Today, computer-dating services make the process of finding a mate easy and very effective. Everyone posts their own description and a picture, with a list of their own preferences for a partner. The computer then selects likely candidates and puts them in touch. This process has yielded wonderful results for millions. Indeed, Love has bridged continents in this way.
Whatever the selection mechanism, the success rate of marriage in the United States is somewhat less than fifty percent. We have been to weddings where the bride and groom seemed perfectly suited — and then they were divorced within a year. And too, we have wondered at the attraction between two totally different types, physically and socially very different people who are evidently still happy together after decades. The puzzle of love is difficult to decode.
While on the subject of marriage: in spite of the old song: Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage, modern society has seen a big trend toward couples living together without going through any formalities, at least until they have children. Until the so-called "marriage tax" was eliminated, filing a joint tax return even had a financial disadvantage.
Moving to a different plane, love does not simply refer to romance between the sexes — it is the special feeling between two people-same sex partners, parent and child, siblings, family, friends. Some people feel love for their pets, and it’s clearly reciprocal.
As technology advances and computers become smarter, will machines become capable of love? In the Star Trek series, Data wants to experience love and sometimes gets close to an analysis of the "feeling." In the movie AI, a lifelike robot is imprinted with "love" that is unconditional, intense and indestructible. The mother loves the humanoid too, but rejects him when she has to choose between the synthetic child and her own natural son.
And there are other kinds of love, which perhaps need different words. Some people are moved to great personal sacrifice for the love of humanity. Patriotic love is something greatly admired by compatriots, but despised by enemies. How does anyone fathom the love of a mother who can encourage her child to do a suicide bombing?
And then, there is love of God — human love for an unseen spiritual being. The love of God is preached by all religions, but is something few can truly demonstrate beyond lip service.
You know, I’ve never understood the bible story of God testing Abraham's love by asking him to sacrifice his first-born son, and then stopping him from committing murder only after he demonstrates a clear intent.
For the cynic, there is always Tina Turner’s song:
Whats love got to do with it?
What's love, but a second-hand emotion?
Who needs a heart, when a heart can be broken?
42.Is He or She “The One”
How can you know the person you are dating is THE ONE?
Recently, a friend of mine told me she bought a popular magazine targeting younger women that had the headline "Is He Really The One?" She said it was the reason she bought the magazine, rather than the flashy article they had on a new sex position or the article on how to impress him over Thanksgiving.
Of course, being curious about how this particular magazine might have answered the question "Is He Really The One?", I asked her what it said.
If I remember correctly, the article went into some detail about separating darks from whites (laundry) together, something about cooking together, having incredible feelings when you kiss, and then closed with a comment that he'll hold your hair back when you get sick. Hmm... really?
I think human decency requires us to look after someone who is sick -- but is holding hair back when someone vomits, doing laundry, and enjoying cooking together REALLY signs we found "the one?"
I've had several long-term relationships where we totally enjoyed cooking together, doing laundry together, traveling on trips together and spending countless hours doing whatever we'd dream up that day for fun. We also talked shop together about our careers together, too. Yet, I'm not with any of those people today. And I've seen many other people get divorced who had all that stuff going on. So, what gives?
The difference here is the difference between EGO and SPIRIT. Our EGO looks at the hot company the guy runs or his stock options that just vested or his flashy car or nice muscles. Our EGO looks at her great body and how all the other guys say how hot she is. But our SPIRIT looks for something else.
Our SPIRIT (higher-self) often doesn't pick the person we fall in love with. Although we frequently see people fall in love at first sight in a movie or on television, the actual reality of those relationships being the ones that last are pretty rare.
How can you tell a Soul mate from an Ego mate?
1. Do you show each other equal levels of respect? If either of you are putting the other on an unrealistic level it is likely that the relationship may eventually topple from its foundation. Also, with unequal respect, love will not be balanced, either.
2. Do you have similar or at least compatible goals? When my ex-wife and I divorced I knew it was because we had incompatible goals. Once we had graduated from college we were on paths that split wide and far apart. It wasn't that she didn't love me, because she did. She had a goal to create a nice little two-kid family and live to see her kids graduate and get married. I, on the other hand, had other aspirations that didn't include kids for quite some time. Compatible dreams, vision, and goals are the most important things to look for in relationships, because they are the root of issues that could eventually derail the relationship train if they are incompatible. See the article on The Purpose Question for more help with compatible life paths.
3. Are you comfortable with each other? In a book I read a few years ago called Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay, by Mira Kirshenbaum, many of the questions the author asks about a suspect relationship are questions about whether you like the other person's looks, smell, taste, etc. The idea being that if your partner grosses you out you're headed for trouble. This is also a bit of an Ego play, though, so I think it is important to pay attention to where those feelings are coming from.
4. Are your spiritual beliefs compatible? How do you answer spiritual questions? Do you believe in God? What is God to you? Do you believe in prayer? How often? What do you think of Heaven or Hell or other spiritual concepts of eternity? Do you believe we have freedom of choice or is our life pre-determined? To what extent? How do you feel about spirits or angels? These are all questions that can help you determine your spiritual beliefs. Notice: I did not say RELIGIOUS beliefs. Many people make a happy couple even though they have two separate religions. Yes, this may present challenges when you decide which religion to raise children in (many decide both, letting the child decide), but religion is not a true barometer of relationship success or failure. Spiritual beliefs, on the other hand, are highly important.
5. Are you infatuated or do you have your feet on the ground with your lover? If you think they are practically perfect you may be overlooking things due to feelings of infatuation. The biggest challenge I encounter is that when I am infatuated, I am often blind to that type of logic and won't hear anything of it. Sometimes infatuation has to run its course as we need to learn certain lessons. However, if we can avoid the lesson and save both people in the relationship from getting a broken heart, then all the better, right?
6. Do people you know think you're a good couple? Ok, sounds stupid, but I've seen people whose potential mother-in-law couldn't stand them (or even speak to them). Does that sound like a supportive environment? Our support system needs to be supportive of a relationship. That is why we have our support people (family, friends) attend weddings in the first place: to be witnesses and agree to support the marriage in good times and not-so-good times.
7. Do you feel safe, empowered, and valued by your partner? If you cannot fairly answer "yes" to being safe, empowered and valued, you're likely missing a key element. I learned this from Jessica Haynes, Aspiration Advocate, (see Jessica's article on AspireNow called What Brings Happiness) and check out the AspireNow Advisor for more information about safety, value, and empowerment.
8. If your lover has lots of side Ego-perks, such as a kick-butt job, a hot car, high-brow social status, or a model's body, how would you feel if the particular "perk" went away? If they gained weight, would it matter? If the stock market crashed (see: Demise of the Dot-Bombs) and those dot-com options they hold which were worth millions suddenly are now worth less than toilet paper, would you still love your partner?
9. How do you get along with their friends? Again, this is a support system issue. If you think their friends are pigs, jerks, sleazes, or users, it is highly unlikely you're going to fit into their scene.
10.Does your partner assume responsibility for previous relationship failures (learning experiences)? If they don't, they're going to learn again with you. Blame and resentment are not fun to hold onto. If one or both partners has not yet learned to forgive past grievances (see Letting Go Of The Past, Forgiveness, and Surrender) they may create some new grievances with you. If you hear blame and resentment in descriptions of past loves, you're highly likely headed for pain in your new relationship.
11. What does your internal spirit guide, your higher self, say about the match? When you get quiet and meditate about them, how do you feel?
12. Last, is the timing right? If they're in a relationship now, this may not be the best timing. Have they healed from past relationships? Are they able to love their own self, first? These things are important to resolve PRIOR to getting into a new relationship, otherwise, you may be resolving them together, which can be quite a bit more difficult than on our own. Timing is key to when we meet, in terms of developing all the other characteristics we've discussed.
43.What Do Women Want
One reason why understanding a woman isn’t such an easy thing is because the way women process thoughts and emotions is drastically different than their male counterparts. Studies indicate women use emotion to processes thought as their bases for decision-making thirty percent more than men do. Add such, women are also known for being more intuitive than men. This is not exactly true as men use intuition in different ways and have different ways of communicating. Nevertheless, Men tend to bond to share activities, whereas women tend to bond to share thoughts and feelings.
So what do a woman really want to the man? Men can get what they want from women much more frequently when they approach the women with a few simple yet affective.
1. woman wants a man to be confident. Confidence is the No. 1 quality a woman look for. Don’t be windy. Don’t apologize for everything. Be real. be you.
2. woman goes nuts over a man who will go the extra mile. For example, he opens a door for her; he walks in the right side of the street and helps her to stop. I am talking about being a gentleman. If she is cold, offer her your jacket. If she is in trouble, protect her. If there is a danger, pull your arm around her. Be a real man.
3. A sense of humor. Woman loves a man who can make her laugh. If you are dull, you are boring. If you make a woman laugh, you are half way home. Take a chance, be real but be funny.
4. Woman wants a man to listen and not necessarily give advice. Woman generally likes to complain about the problems. You need to understand that a woman needs to vent. Allow her this and she’ll allow you in, not say aha while she is talking. Be true to interested in what she is saying without worrying about what you are going to say next. Watch what happens.
5. Women want to be treated as they are the sexiest women on the planet, and that no other woman can compare. Talking about your ex-girlfriends is not going to score big points with your new woman, treating her like she is the only one will make her smile for quite a while.
6. Woman wants to know you will be faithful. Don’t tell a woman how you treated on your ex, it wouldn’t make her think you are wise, loyalty or trustfully. I’m not saying to lie to her, just don’t go there, don’t treat on your woman. She will not think you are a better man for doing this, just like you want to think you are the only man she has ever loved one. That’s the thing she wants, too.
44.Healing a Broken Heart
Healing a Broken Heart
"I loved her. She was the sunshine in my morning, the joy throughout my day, the star in my night. I mean, I thought SHE was THE ONE! How could I be so foolish? Without her, I simply can't see how to go on..."
"He was my everything. I miss his touch, his smile, his warm voice in the night. What will I do without him? My life is a complete wreck. I loved him so much! Without him in my life, nothing matters to me anymore. I feel broken and empty: a shell of my previous self. It's been weeks and I'm still crying about this..."
Is this you?
You feel this way, yet you know that the two of you can no longer be together....it just didn't work (too many fights, too much distance, some other problem). Whoever said, "It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved" has never experienced this feeling of loss. What I'm talking about is a broken heart.
I've had my own heart broken, too, so I have considerable empathy for your situation. The advice "take it one day at a time" often seems cliché. We think we've crossed the hurdle and are out of the valley of tears or sadness when suddenly we hear a song, see a movie, or have some other action or event trigger our memory of our past love. How does it ever get easier?
Here is what I've learned about overcoming a broken heart:
Act proactively, rather than reactively. Allow ourselves time to process, grieve, or whatever else we need to feel from the situation. Go ahead and be angry if we have to. Do not project our anger, guilt, or sadness onto our ex, that will only create difficult feelings for both of us. But DO allow ourselves to feel the feelings. And be proactive in the process. How can we change our feelings from those of reaction to proactively making our life better? The feelings eventually do pass. I won't tell you how long it will take, because for some it takes days, for others weeks, for others years. However, we can accelerate the process by owning our actions and becoming proactive, rather than reactive.
Leave judgment to God or nature. The victim may stand in the best position to condemn the offender; however, by showing mercy the victim has shown true love. When we have a healed heart, our heart is no longer concerned with how we were hurt; rather, our heart is concerned with how to love. We must forgive the past and move on to loving our self and others again.
We must create a plan. How will we set boundaries with our former partner? How will we deal with anger when we feel it? How will we deal with sadness? How can we learn the most, then grow from this experience? When we write our plan down, we give it power. Then, when the challenges come up (and they always do) we can consult our plan, then take the action we've already determined will make us most healthy and happy, rather than just reacting any other way possible.
As we forgive, we will be forgiven. How can we plan to forgive without digging up the past? As we show mercy, mercy will be shown to us. How can we show mercy to others? As we have fun, with joy, kindness, and happiness, we will reap more joy, kindness, and happiness. How can we plan to begin creating this in our life again? As we live according to our PROACTIVE plan, we can begin making a difference again in a healthy and happy way.
Reframe the relationship in our mind. Rather than seeing the relationship as "the only one" where we could have received love, or could have known so much about each other, or felt the loving was so darn good and no other will compare, it is vital that we see the relationship in different light. No, they weren't "the one" -- if they were, it would have worked out far better than it did. What the relationship was, in fact, was a learning experience. What did we learn? How can we improve our lives as a result of the experience? What can I take into the next relationship that will be HEALTHY? There are many other people who we can connect with, many others who will love us right, and many who might treat us FAR better than we ever dreamed, and this relationship ending was simply a necessity in order to bring the NEW and exciting one in!
Rebuild my life. What makes me smile? What makes me want to get up in the morning? What am I truly passionate about? These are the things I need to do again in order to start rebuilding my life and becoming happy and in love with ME again! It has been said, in order to love another, we must first love our self. This is very true. We must love our self, and the only way to do that is to start living our aspirations.
It is important in this step to not immediately replace love for our self with love for another. If we immediately date someone new, we run the risk of reliving the mistakes all over again and not learning, rather than facing our fears and challenges and growing stronger because of them. My heart is with you in this effort as it is our biggest challenge in healing our broken heart: facing our own shadow side. Often, what hurt us the most from our partner and the breakup involves facing that part of ourselves which is hardest to look at. In order to love our bright and happy side we must also love our shadow side. Acceptance is a key to our success with loving our complete self.
Recognize the people around us for the blessings they are. Rather than look for how people let us down, look at how people inspire us. Look for the good in others. This will help us to reach out and love again. This is also a key to becoming happy again.
I remember reading a story by Dale Carnegie about a woman who was depressed. She hadn't been seen at church for a while, and people thought something was wrong. Then one day a visitor pointed out to her that she had this incredible gift of raising African Violets. Why not use this gift and give violets away to make people's lives more happy? That's exactly what she did. Year's later, scores of people showed up at her funeral, as she became known as the African Violet Queen! How can you become queen or king of a little part of making the world a brighter place? We ALL have unique gifts and talents, and even the smallest of these can make a difference.
Find ways to laugh, learn, love, and live. If we aren't looking up, we're looking out or down. This makes us feel down. Try looking up -- it always elevates my mood. Also, try smiling as much as possible. Even if it feels fake, at first, to smile for any ole' reason at all, it eventually will replace our gloom with happiness because happy people attract other happy people (like attracts like). Rather than becoming a member of the "ain't it awful" club, we can get back to being the "isn't life grand" club. It's much more fun, really. We can promote our self esteem by learning a new hobby or interest, like dancing or a foreign language. Then we can take a trip to a new country to put our new interest into action. Knowledge, without action, is fairly meaningless. Knowledge, with action, is powerful.
Reach out. The last key to healing a broken heart is to reach out to others. By reaching out, we can do a favor. Call an old friend. Or, perhaps, simply just do something kind for a stranger. One of the ways I reached out was to make trips to visit each of my family several times in six months. I did this to let each other them know how important they were to me. As a result, I feel a closer bond with my family again. If the people do not help you feel better, then avoid them. But at some point, if we do not reach out we run the risk of becoming recluse. And reclusion is not a recipe for happiness.
Our value does not come from who we are with. Our value comes from who we are.
Rather than worry about being in a relationship, try creating MANY new relationships, not just lovers, but friends everywhere we go. Why do we want to become friends with someone? Because we RELATE to them through common interests, because they're nice to us, because they accept us for who we are, and perhaps show ways we are special to them.
Our relationship with a significant other or life partner does not determine our happiness. Our own thoughts determine our happiness. So, why not choose thinking that will support our highest celebration of our self?
We can treat ourselves to a night out. We can make it a point that even when we are alone we will reach out and find ways to connect with other people. Not from the perspective of what they can do for us, but rather what can we do for them. In doing so, the law of abundant returns will automatically kick-in. We really don't have to worry about payback. Just give out good, relate to others by asking them questions about their life, their interests, compliment their talents, and watch how they light up with a smile.
We can make a difference. Why not start by becoming proactive, making a plan for our happiness, and reaching out to love and live again? The time is now!
The world is full of opportunity for you to express yourself exactly the way you want to. Enjoy and make the most of your unique gift of life, let people know you believe in love, and take the time to heal. Eventually, you will meet someone who you will love and more than likely you will look back at this time as when you laid the foundations of a future you truly deserve. Best of success to you in healing your heart and loving again!
45.Childless by Choice
By Cynthia Burgess
Living as I do in the middle of suburbia I am as misplaced as a water lily in the Mojave Desert. I am a woman who has chosen to remain childless. In this land of daycare centers, mini-vans and soccer teams I find myself surrounded by mothers whose schedules revolve, quite naturally, around their children.
When people first hear of my deliberately childless status, it bewilders, dismays or offends them. They mistakenly conclude that I selfishly opted for Caribbean cruises and cocktail parties over the love of a child. Rarely do they understand my choice.
Inevitably, I'm asked to explain my decision. When I do, I'm eyed suspiciously then asked: "Do you hate children?" "Don't you have any maternal instinct?" "Is it a physical problem?" "Don't you want immortality through your kids?" Then they elaborate: "You'll live to regret that decision." "You'll realize your mistake in time, then you can have one or adopt."
I try not to sound like the selfish, unloving egoist they think I am as I explain: Though I like kids, motherhood is not a job I ever wanted, just as I didn't want to become an attorney or a grocery clerk. And no, there is nothing "wrong" with me or my husband, this is simply our decision.
I couldn't envision a child as someone to care for me in old age--a reason for making babies more popular than you might think. Neither could I see a child as a recipient of my worldly possessions or a guarantee of immortality. I believe immortality is more than a matter of biology; each individual must earn immortality in his or her own right.
Early on I knew I didn't want the responsibility or tedium of dragging kids out of bed every day for school, making lunches and chauffeuring them around town to birthday parties and dental appointments. The job description for motherhood did not suit my personality. I also recognized that in this deafening world, I require long stretches of solitude for happiness.
Since every choice in life is a tradeoff, I was aware that no matter which side of the fence I walked, there would be lost opportunities. Thirteen years later, I have no doubt I made the right personal decision.
Our culture values children and sees them as essential to the good life as a big screen TV or a ski vacation. Everyone, down to my best friend's mother, expected me to have kids. Society bombards us with the idea that children are a given. The message is everywhere--from Madison Avenue advertising to weekly television sitcoms, in film and magazines. It's so ingrained in our psyches that it's difficult to imagine other equally fulfilling alternatives.
The notion of remaining childless makes people uneasy. In part, that's because our sense of community is based on our sense of family. When you tell people that children aren't for you, they feel you're threatening society as a whole. It's not easy for them to see it as just a personal choice.
A childless life is seen as incomplete and unfulfilled. However, it is entirely possible for a childless woman to live as fulfilled a life as any mother. There are as many definitions and degrees of fulfillment as there are women, but very simply speaking, if you are satisfied with your life and have achieved happiness, then you are fulfilled.
Some childless women find gratification in a strong marriage. For others, this fullness of life is born of time and energy to pursue personal enthusiasms, achieve career goals or work within the larger family of community. Whatever the means, fulfillment comes with realizing our own human potential.
But fulfillment doesn't necessarily mean a life that's full. How gratified are mothers who juggle hectic family schedules, who run their children from swimming lessons to dance class to gymnastics? Their constant frustration and weariness make me wonder.
Though my daily schedule is radically different from any mother I know, the rest of my life isn't. Yet, I often feel like a social outsider since I'm culturally defined as odd and peripheral because of my divergent choice. I sense a marginality in social situations with other women; women I'm separated from only by the length of an umbilical cord.
Even so, why do I always find myself having to explain that children are not every woman's reason to be? Why must I always justify my life as meaningful when mothers aren't asked to do the same? I've resigned myself to the fact that for at least as long as I'm of childbearing age, I'll be asked to do so--but I suspect I'll be defending my choice for the rest of my life.
46.12 Steps To Personal Business Success
Here are the twelve steps to personal success in business:
1. What do we call success? Should we let our company define this - nope! Define it our self! When I was in sales, I always took whatever quota my company gave me and either doubled it or tripled it. I did this because I understood psychology enough to know that we tend to come just a little short of our goals, on average. Thus, I was usually assured of overachieving quota by making sure that even if I fell a little short of my goals I over-achieved my company's goals. This was always more than enough to send me to summit club (100% + achievement) year after year.
2. Own our career. Do we work as if our career owns us, or do we own it? There is one sure way to tell: when we go on an interview, who is interviewing who? I always felt that if I wasn't asking plenty of questions, I was letting my career own me.
3. Believe in the power of I can, I will! My friend Julia has that saying on a plaque on her wall. I don't know where she bought it from, all I know is she's the Top Gun at her company each year and a phenomenal salesperson.
4. Be financially smart. Do we spend money and use expenses as if our job were our own private business? Most managers appreciate people who are wise with expenses - yet also who know how to spend money to attract money. "Don't be too frugal, yet don't be wasteful" is the rule I live by. Then, when we do own our own business, we're already in the habit of spending wisely.
5. Plan our work. If we don't have a plan, we plan to fail.
6. Work our plan. What's the use of having a plan if we don't follow it?
7. Take a chance. What are we holding back? If we have a good idea, we ought to either suggest it, implement it, or delegate it and make it happen. The best ideas are those which get acted upon. The worst ideas are those forgotten about while the competition is making them a reality. I have a viewpoint that anytime I have an idea that at least five other people in the world have thought this same idea at the same time. The key to success is the person who acts upon their ideas.
8. Act now. The best time to aspire is... NOW!
9. What can we change? People who stay completely the same are a little boring. So is a business. Businesses are comprised of people, so we must change a bit to keep things interesting. What business process can we change? Do we need a face-life or makeover? What attitude needs a refresher? Might as well go for it and see what happens. There is one constant in life: that it will change tomorrow.
10. Have we failed at something? Instead of calling it a failure, call it a learning experience. Learn from it. Now, next time, we will succeed as we are wiser.
11. Have fun! Fun people are more creative. People who aren't having fun are boring. They are sometimes good for getting a lot of work done, but they aren't that great at coming up with new ideas. I like hanging around fun people - how about you?
12. Help someone else succeed. Have you ever noticed that when you ask for help from someone who has succeeded in your field, that they usually will offer free advice? Sometimes, they'll go the extra mile for you to help out. On occasion, I like to do something unexpected and help out a rookie with some free wisdom. If they ask, I offer. They always walk away smiling. So, let us assist those who haven't yet gained our wisdom. Then watch what they do with it and smile. Someone else has done it for us, and what goes around comes around .
Remember that no matter what rules we have been given, it is wise to break one every now and then. People who have fun, use their resources, and have an attitude of "No Doubt" are the true winners in life. Are we among them?
47.The Joy of SOHO: Making a Life While Making a Living
A Better Choice
The next time you overhear a friend or coworker chattering excitedly about SOHO, don't assume that they are talking about New York. In today's business world SOHO refers to "Small Office/Home Office," one of today's biggest explosions in the economy. The home-based business has been born out of necessity. In an era when large corporations always think of downsizing, what are your other choices?
Your choices are usually limited: find a lucrative niche in the small business world, stand in line at Unemployment, or accept a cut in pay and benefits. We were all raised to give 9 hours work for 8 hours pay, and we are not backing away from that. Bosses don't understand that you just put braces on your child's teeth and now have to pay for them. In this economic climate, where cost-cutting measures are the group of the day, setting up a home office on your own may just be the ticket to beat the odds. So now, to configure your own small office, home office set-up can be a breeze.
How to Start
Let's congratulate on your decision to start your own business. But where do you go from here? Paper clips, memo pad, phone and table ?almost but not quite. One of the faults committed by home-based business owners otherwise known as a small office home office is that they fail to consider the possibilities of expansion.
It is fine to start working from the kitchen table but what happens when things start to take off and you still do not want to have an office space? where do you place the home office? If you have the space, I highly suggest a room unto itself. This permits you to close the door and separate your personal life from business. You are able to leave everything you are working on right where it is instead of shaving to clean-up for dinner or to go to bed. These clean-up steps can lead to problems down the road. where you anchor the home office is important for your future success. A corner in the living room, bedroom or attic is preferable if you do not have a room solely for your business. Reasons for the separation include fewer distractions and the ability to think and focus more clearly.
And you may have to have one or two clients come to your "office" in the lifetime of your business. Even though it is your home, you want to present the best professional atmosphere possible, which is very important if you have people working with you. Their productivity is important to your bottom line. Invest in the appropriate chairs, tables, lighting and ventilation before you invest in the paper clips and the stapler. If you are not comfortable, neither you nor your employees will stay there and finish the job. Bottom line: Your employees don't want to interact or become a part of your family issues. It is fine to have employees in your home but just make sure you supply them with the best working atmosphere possible.
The Popularity of Being SOHO
Today, researchers and marketers have identified a segment that is now labeled SOHO, small offices, home offices, whether they are high-tech start-ups or women selling Mary Kay .But they drive America's economic growth and have created most of the new jobs in the last 20 years. 3% of companies accounted for 6 million of the 7.7 million jobs that were added to the economy between 1991-1995. Small businesses represent over 90% of all businesses in the U.S. with an economic output greater than Germany or France or the UK.
Reportedly, home-based workers earn more money. The 46 million home-based workers in the United States, including a large number of women, working at home in an attempt to better balance work and family, earn 28% more than the average office worker, and spend less time making their pay. Of course this could be due, in part, to the fact that more experienced and aggressive workers tend to start their own businesses.
Remember, going into business on your own, or from a home office may mean making do with less. But it can also mean achieving more: more independence, more challenges, more results. In the long run it may well mean more money for you and your family. In a word, doing it on your own means freedom, to grow, experiment and learn. If you are successful, you won't have to go ask for a raise or accept what you're given or worry about being turned out to pasture when a younger version of yourself comes along. You will have the freedom to enjoy the profits of your own work, and the continuing growth and profit which comes from owning your own business. Good luck and enjoy the journey.
In my experiences with discovering life purpose it seems inevitable , in all cases , to come to grips with our past . We build up negative issues in our past and need to clear the clutter out in order to grow . I call this clearing process "Forgiveness". In the Bible , Jesus said ,"forgive not seven times , but seventy-times seven ." Why ? Because forgiveness is our ability to remove negative thoughts and neutralize them so our energy may be spent on doing what we came here for .
We cannot move forward in our future if past issues cloud our thinking .
We can think of our life as a room . The more past issues or negative thoughts , the more furniture , dust , cobwebs ,clutter , and other pests (spiders , mice , etc. ) clog up our thinking and our ability to manifest .
when we forgive , it is as if we took a broom , vacuum cleaner and a dumpster and got rid of the old clutter that blocks us from creating the life we really want .
How do we forgive others ? Each person may have their own method .
My personal choice is through prayer and meditation . Through visualizing the issue or past event which clutters our thinking we may then send love and prayer to that situation and let them go ... just let them go and send them on their way with love .
It takes some practice .There is another prayer which I've attached in the tools under "The Forgiveness Prayer " which I found very helpful . This prayer is a prayer you can use repeatedly for cleansing in this manner .
Not only must we forgive others , but forgiveness in our own mind regarding our impression of others and how they might judge US is also important . I believe forgiving our own self is equally important in the forgiveness process . Marcus Porcious Cato said "I can pardon everyone's mistakes but my own ." This is too true for most of us . Yet , we must release our mistakes (dust , garbage in our spiritual self ) , too , in order to move forward clearly .
In forgiving others and forgiving our own self we can truly be free and clear to build the life we want . It is sometimes said "to err is human ; to forgive , unusual ." We can take the "unusual" path and become truly unusual people . Unusual people discover their purpose and live it each day .
49.listen to your heart
Yesterday ,someone asked me what is the greatest skill for successful salesperson to possess.
I answered,“the ability to listen.“ He agreed with me.But the ability to listen isn’t only important in selling .It is also important when buying ,managing ,talking with our mates or friends .In fact ,communication is next to impossible oif we don’t listen .listening is alse important when praying and meditating .Then heart of a servant requires listening .And if discovering our purpose is the process of discovering how we can most impact the world through offering service (the act of servant-hood) then listening must truly be an asset to discovering our purpose as well.
Many psychiatrist explain the way to communicate better(and succeed in relationships) is by listening better.By not thinking ,just being involved in listening adroitly to another person, we may experience a new way of knowing this person for who they really are .
Many motivational speakers and psychologists talk about going after “what you desire“ as discovering your purpose .In the Tao there is a thought that “when there is no desire there is peace“(from Tao Te Ching) .Knowing what we desire is insufficient.
Perhaps ,a way to listen is to remove“desire“ from our mind. Instead of focusing on what we want ,we may be alert...aware...paying attention to the signals our body ,mind ,spirit and heart .Speak to us .When we walk in nature and say nothing ,natuer talks to us .Then wind blows quietly through the limbs on the trees .Grasses rustle and leaves blow across the ground .The clouds move about the sky and cast shadows working with the sun shining behind them.In the same way ,our body speaks to us when we become quiet ,meditative ,and shut down our“conscience-level“mind .In eliminating the chatler noise in our head and focusing on the quiet ,we can eventually reach a state of being where we are aware of our inner needs.
This takes time .It can be accomplished through meditation .I can’t be accomplished by writing down lists of goals (our desires) nor can it be accomplished by telling other people what we think (speaking in not listening)
It requires listening .Let’s think of one question to close this chapter.When am I the happiest?When am I most relaxed? When am I most excited? When am I feel most loved?
The answer to this question ,in listening ,is often the answer to our purpose.
In listenin to our heart we can awaken a deeper sense of understanding of who we really are .We can also become more emotional and loving to people ,animals ,and nature around us .People who listen are more successful in business ,life and in living their purpose.
50.What Brings Happiness
"What Brings Happiness?"
WHEN POLLED ACROSS THE NATION AS TO: "What Brings HAPPINESS?"
These EIGHT items were listed as NOT being of major importance to maintaining lasting happiness (the Eight Delusional Desires for Prosperity):
2. Physical appearance
These EIGHT items WERE listed as of major importance to maintaining lasting happiness (the Eight Keys to Happiness):
1. A feeling of being in control of one's life and one's choices. Being adaptable to experiences and outcomes.
2. A relationship, partnership, and lasting commitment.
3. A satisfying and rewarding job or career.
4. Good friends.
5. Leisure. Time to travel, retreat or relax. Private time to be alone, and authentic time to share with others.
6. Exercise. Exercising in any style, degree of effort, or time duration that you need or want.
7. Sense of feeling connected to God. Having an avenue to express and experience Spirituality.
HOPE was given as the ultimate tool or method that enabled individuals to endure life while they were waiting for their unmet needs to be fulfilled or fall into place.
If a person loses HOPE -- in a strained relationship, a stalled career, or negative health situation, the lack of this emotion can lead to miscommunication, a separation (or divorce), ongoing drama or crisis -- or even death. Losing hope invites lack of vision, criticism, boredom, anger, stagnation, and letting go of one's desire to live.
The quality of your HOPE is the quality of your perception of life.
To assure a constant stream of hope in your life, the first step is finding key people who will listen to you (i.e., your needs, wants, and desires) so that you feel heard. When you feel heard, hope begins. You can lose hope when there is negativity in your life. Even when the darkest moment surrounds us, know that there is or will be a person who will listen to your pain. By accepting the moment and the future, you are believable to those who want to help you. Hope comes from knowing you can succeed. Knowing you can succeed comes from one or more persons who say, "you will overcome this challenge!" Therefore, it behooves you to (carefully) choose who you trust and tell your pains and problems to.
Interestingly enough, when we pray to God, the angels, or a loved one who has passed over, we are actually reaching out to "someone" who will listen to us. In praying to God, we open ourselves to taking responsibility for our past and present actions. In that one moment of internal realization, we attract someone who will step into our lives specifically to give us the hope and information we need. Hope always comes from knowing we have a friend, loved one, or a loving God who listens to our problems. In asking for help, a solution always appears. It may take days, weeks, months, or years to forget the pain we endured, but this expands our breadth of love to accept new personal growth.
As we gain hope, happiness fills our days again. We start noticing how good food tastes, how beautiful the sky is, and how people take the time to help us. When hope fills our life again, our renewed value in our self leads us to our life mission and realization of our natural talents. The result is having control of our life, a great relationship, a rewarding job, good friends, more leisure time, desire to exercise, and a connection to God.
By paying attention to the eight keys to happiness vs. the delusional desires for prosperity we can learn how to truly realize lasting happiness in our lives
51. Laughter ,A Key to Happines
Laughter is a key to happiness
Laughter is a key to happiness. Yep, in fact, laughter is the most important aspect to being happy -- no Prozac required! We often forget that laughter is a very essence of our spirit.
Laughter relates to communication, too. When we greet one another in America we say "Hello" which is similar to the Hawaiian's "Aloha". Alo - meaning in the presence of and Ha - the divine. (See Belinda Farrell's article on Forgiveness for more about Aloha.) The expression Hello was probably originally Ha llo... !
Look at the efforts people will put into making other people laugh. We have TV shows such as David Letterman, Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, Friends, The Simpsons, Cheers, etc., which all strive to make people laugh. A whole category of films are classified as comedies. Why? People love to laugh! Clowns at the circus dress funny and do goofy things to make kids (and adults) laugh, sometimes until they cry.
In theatre, there is the happy, laughing face always portrayed opposite the sad, crying face (comedy & tragedy). William Shakespeare utilized both in his plays. While we have the tense tragedy in Hamlet, Macbeth or Othello we have the humor in Midsummer Night's Dream or Much Ado About Nothing. Yet, even in tragedy, humor is often used to relax the audience during the most tense moments. Alfred Hitchcock was a master of utilizing humor in tense moments in his films of the 40's, 50's and 60's.
In business settings, I have found that when a manager or customer has asked me a question and I felt completely at a loss for (when I should have known the answer) the only escape is to make a joke. This relieves the situation and tended to allow people to forgive me for my mistake.
There is a time and a place for humor. If we run around laughing in a church when someone just died we might offend (I've always hoped people would laugh at my funeral though).
Here are 5 ways to incorporate more laughter (and more power of HA) into your life:
If you feel goofy, let it out.
Feel free to encourage someone through laughing with them.
Watch more comedies than tragedies (or certainly than horror).
Listen to music or read a book that makes you laugh.
Start laughing for no reason at all. (ok, be careful where you try this one - don't want you to get locked away!)
If you computer just crashed maybe that was nature's way of playing a little joke on you. Rather than get mad, laugh it off! Ok, easier said than done - it happened to me in June, 2000 (and again in February, 2001! - O.K., this was not as funny the second time!). Certainly there are things we can smile and laugh about during the event, rather than after it occurs. Laughter will nourish your soul. Let your eyes smile and twinkle like the eyes of a child. If you've forgotten how to laugh, go to a park and watch children play. They laugh about all kinds of goofy things. Unserious your life and let laughter back in -- and watch as you become happier, the natural way.
52.Four Foolproof WAYS TO Improve Our Lives, Today
FOUR FOOLPROOF WAYS TO IMPROVE OUR LIVES, TODAY
So, my life is perfect. (Yeah.I wish!) Well, it isn't too bad. But can it be better? I've been asking myself this question for several years. The answer is simple:Yes, it can!
I don't care what we are doing or how we're doing it, there is always a way to improve upon our lifetyle.
How can it be better? Well, I can share some things I've done that helped me. And, hopefully, if you're dealing with the same chalenges or situations in life, these ideas might help you.
Here are four rules I've come to live by:
First, do what I love
If I don't enjoy something, I get rid of it or don't do it. Sounds crazy, right? I worked for three years to build up a one-man band act with my saxophone, a keyboard, and my flute. Then, one day, after doing the gig for a corporate Christmas party, I decided that the one-man band act might pay enough, and might be fun, but it would not be the musical outlet I was truly seeking: that of interacting with other musicians and touring around the country (or world). So I stopped doing it. I sold most of my gear, including my P.A. system, flute, and keyboard, for pennies on the dollar. Then, I focused on talking to people about my aspiration to play in a band, to front a band, and make great things happen musically. Two years later,I met Dino, and we started a band called The Olive Club. We;re playing music we enjoy and the band is growing into the type of band I had envisioned.
However, achieving this vision might have been possible even if I had continued doing the one-man-band act.Some roads, after all, do lead to the same destination-they just take longer to arrive there. My position on our decisions is to just make them and don't look back. Why have regrets? Regret doesn't help us with where we are today. Nor does it help us with where we are going. What does help is to make a decision, and move on, and be satisfied that is was right, no matter what we did.
Second, do the hardest things first.
I know that when I do the hard things first that my life seems so easy I wonder how it counld have been any other way. Just doing the easy things caused our life to become cluttered. We might as well face our challenges head-on and then cruise through the easy part.
Third, allow myself to feel emotions.
When I'm happy, I like being happy and laughing. If I get angry, I gave myself permission to scream or break something. Go ahead, really,it is okay to feel! I once heard Kevin Ryerson say, " I believe we were supposed to have emotions. Such as joy, anger, happiness,sorrow. As the Old Testament said, "I am a loving God, I am a jealous God, I am an angry God, etc."--if it is good enough for God, it is good enough for me! When we allow ourselves to feel, yet remain "aware" of what we are doing or saying, we enable ourselves to become fully human.
Fourth, be positive and have faith in myself, and in my ability to manifest.
I like to look up at the blue sky, see the birds chirping, and smile. And find something to laugh about. If we aren't laughing, we aren't living,. With once ounce of joy we replace a thousand sorrows. Through faith in our self, we enable the world around us to give back to us. Through our belief in our self, we create our world, our life, our potential.
Taking a look at how we live our lives can be be refreshing. By leaving the things that aren't working((after seriously trying), doing the hard things first, allow our emotions to be real, and smile and laugh along the way, the journey can be better for all of us.
We welcome your comments and success stories about living an elegant simplicity life and making your life more fun and abundant feedback.
53.The Meaning of Life
The Meaning of Life
The Meaning of Life is to L O V E.Someone told me I was crazy to try to describe the meaning of life. I replied that I'm not crazy to suggest we can understand the meaning of life; when you think about it, the signs are all around us. First, I'm not going to claim I have all the answers to everything in life. But I do think you can attempt to summarize the meaning of life up in one word: love. This is, at least for me, if not the meaning of life - at least it is a meaning of life. That's why so much of AspireNow is about helping people create, bring, and share more love with others and with things around them.
I once pondered the meaning of life while meditating and praying in the bathtub (yes, I enjoy baths) and it struck me so completely that I sat straight up and got chills for over 15 minutes. I call chills of this sort "angel shivers". A key meaning in life is to love -- it is really that simple.
I'll say it again: LOVE is the meaning of life.
That may be good enough for me but I suppose I should back up my proposition with some facts. Take a look at the message from some of the world's greatest religious leaders:
Jesus from Christianity: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." and "Love your neighbor as yourself." - quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 in Mark 12: 30,31, The NAS Bible.
Buddhism: "To love life through labor is to be intimate with life's inmost secret. All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible."
I could go on, as the "love" message runs throughout just about every religion and form of native belief system.
Another question people often seem to seek in the spiritual life is the search for answers to two existential questions: "Who am I?" and "Why am I?" Gandhi said, "I claim to be a passionate seeker after truth, which is but another name for God." If God is truly love, then when we seek God we consider experiencing more love.
God is within us.
Also, it is important to note that God is within us - which is why I refer frequently to the divine self or higher self; I'm talking about the same thing as God, how most of us define God.
Examples of this fact from religion include:
Buddhism: Look within, you are the Buddha.
Christianity: The kingdom if heaven is within you.
Confucianism: Heaven, earth and human are of one body.
Yoga (part of Hinduism): God dwells within you as you.
Upanishads (part of Hinduism): By understanding the self, all this universe is known
In recognizing that God is within us, and we can love God and each other to have a better life, why would we lie to another person? We'd be lying to our self, in a sense. Why steal from someone? We'd be stealing from our self. The Bible says "God is love." If God is within us then it makes sense we love our self, we love others, and love nature around us. In doing so, we are certainly on the right path.
Why do anything less than everything possible to enjoy life and treat other people lovingly - especially in in our business life? These principles are the roots and foundation of beliefs supporting AspireNow and our mission together.
54.If I die today..
If I Died Today
"If I died today, how would I feel about my life?"Life is fragile.
A good friend of mine called me today and shared that his girlfriend's brother passed away last night. He was married, with two young children. He died of a massive heart attack in the middle of the night. And he was only 44 years old.
"It could never happen to me," we think. "I'm too young to die." But how young is "too young to die?"
We really don't know how many days or years we will live. An accident, such as by plane, automobile, or other mishap could claim our life. Or perhaps, an unusual illness. Or a vital organ could fail.
So what would we say, if our life were to end today? Would we be satisfied? Would we know that we had lived our life fully, on purpose? Could we feel we "did it right?"
It is a hard question to answer. I recently had a cousin pass away from cancer. I don't know how she would have answered this question. But I'm 99% positive she wasn't "ready" to go. Not with two little ones and a loving husband and so much life ahead of her (she was 35 years old).
If we live our life completely every day, we still may not be thrilled with the thought of death. However, death is really only a passing from one physical body to our more complete spiritual one (not that our spirit isn't the core essence of who we are now).
Are there things we can be doing better? Are there people we can love better? Can we live our aspirations, today? If we know the answer, what are we waiting for to make us do it? Death? Life is fragile. Now is the time to live fully and bless those friends and family who grace us with their love.