Slaves are anyone who refuses to free themselves from the doldrums of their jobs
Yesterday a friend and I talked about the mid-life changes that are being made everyday by more people than ever before. While it is true that most have been unplanned fortunately when it does happen there is a choice; people can either invest in a life that may well be better than they ever dreamed possible or they can sink into despair waiting to be rescued. I suggested to my friend that these opportunities for rebirth provide us what we never had when we lived our first lives. Then people taught us what they thought we needed to know. We got on a path suggested by others and diligently followed it, seldom asking ourselves if this was really what we wanted to do. Far too many of us watched out the window thinking we were passing through the world when most often it was really the world passing us by. Soon days turned into months, months into years and time never stopped, nor did many of us pause to ask if life had more to offer. Too many of us waited until it was too late to do anything different.
Fortunately, like the cat, we have the ability to have more than one life, in my case I have had three so far, each better than the last. I was not smart enough when my first career ended to realize what a great opportunity I had been given. Happily I soon found that great things could be had just around the corner or just over the hill. I became a great believer in following Robert Frost’s path less taken, for I found that the path leads to places few have been and where you find the most fertile fields.
I often wonder if I really am wise enough to suggest something that will be of worth to others. So if you are in the process of rebirth you might find some of the ideas of life coach Michael Masterson more helpful than what I might offer. Here are a few of his suggestions for pulling yourself up out of whatever rut you might find yourself:
……there is no reason to ever be in a slump. It’s true. And here’s better news: Getting yourself out of a funk is relatively easy to do.
1. Recognize that you are very low in energy . . . and energy is what you need. Imagine that inside your brain there is a motivation panel. The panel contains dozens of fuses, each one a conductor of energy. When you hit a slump, many of these fuses have blown. Blown fuses – any sort of negative, self-deprecating or self-limiting thoughts – must be removed before they can be replaced with good ones. To take out your blown fuses:
•Recognize that your slump will pass. (It passed before, didn’t it?)
•Try not to be mad at yourself. (After all, this is basically a biochemical problem.)
•Remind yourself how lucky you are. (Think Christopher Reeve.)
•If you are worried about a particular problem, imagine the worst outcome and then figure out how you will survive it. This will neutralize the anxiety.
2. Do something – anything – that gives you a little charge. The idea is to think/say/do a number of things that you’ve found through experience charge you up a little. Some things that work for me might work for you. Try these:
•Put on some music. Loud. Choose something that will "pump you up," as they say. This morning’s selection for me was "Help Me Rhonda" by the Beach Boys. Very therapeutic.
•Dance. (Make sure no one is looking.)
•If you can’t force yourself to dance, do some kind of wild exercises. Frantic jumping jacks. Leapfrogging across the carpet. (Do this in private too.)
•Stand in front of a mirror and smile. Smile one hundred times. Did you know that the physical act of smiling releases endorphins? You won’t believe it until you try it. Go ahead.
If you do enough of this stuff . . . and you’ve really rid yourself of your blown fuses . . . you are ready for the third step (which is really the key to the entire process).
3. Complete a worthwhile task – something useful that has value to you.
The trick is to have a ready inventory of meaningful tasks that need doing. If you are a busy person, this won’t be a problem. The tasks you have set aside in inventory should be relatively small in scope – you should be able to complete them in a few hours at most.
If you are like I am you’ll find the landscape at the top edge of the rut is fertile and full of exciting opportunity.
Age is all imagination. Ignore years and they’ll ignore you.
Martin was a slow worker and found it difficult to hold down a job. After a visit to the job centre he was offered work at the local Zoo. When he arrived for his first day, the keeper aware of his reputation told him to take care of the tortoise section. Later, the keeper dropped by to see how Martin was getting on and found him standing by an empty enclosure.
"Where are the tortoises?" he asked him.
"I can’t believe it" said Martin "I just opened the door and then…..Whooooosh!"
Happiness is too easy to lose – next time I find some, I’m going to hide it.
In a high school science quiz, there was the question, "When water becomes ice, which of its physical properties increases?"
Everyone answered, "Its volume increases." Except one wise guy who wrote, "When water becomes ice, its price increases."
It’s no use having a good memory unless you have something good to remember.
Nine year old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned at Sunday school.
"Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. "When he got to the Red Sea, he had his engineers build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely. "Then he used his walkie-talkie to radio headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved."
"Now, Joey, is that really what your teacher taught you?" his mother asked.
"Well, no. But if I told it the way the teacher did, you’d never believe it!"
A student was asked to list the 10 Commandments in any order.
His answer? "3, 6, 1, 8, 4, 5, 9, 2, 10, 7".
To pass the time while our plane was being de-iced, the flight attendants played a trivia game with the passengers. They asked us to guess the total number of years the three of them had worked for the airlines.
After an attendant collected our estimates, we heard the announcement: "The correct answer is 26 years. For the two people who came closest with 28 years, we have prizes. And for the passenger in seat 12F who guessed 85 years, would you please step off the plane once we are airborne?"
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex.
It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
It was October and the Indians on a remote reservation asked their new Chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild?
Since he was a Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky he couldn’t tell what the winter was going to be like. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared. But being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to a phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"
"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold," the meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared. A week later he called the National Weather Service again. "Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?"
"Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it’s going to be a very cold winter."
The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find. Two weeks later the Chief called the National Weather Service again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"
"Absolutely, " the man replied. "It’s looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters ever."
"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.
The weatherman replied, "The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy."
Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.
Henry Van Dyke
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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