The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
Allan K. Chalmers
My wife and I are hibernating; in fact yesterday I never made it to the gym choosing instead to watch the snowfall from inside our house. Since I have been semi-grounded for a while I have had a lot of practice observing the world from my perch. I am still trying to deal with a more sedentary existence but it is not easy. I will brave the weather this morning so I can get to the YMCA for some light exercise and then pick up food and medicine for the week.
I am missing some important opportunities for service lately and that is bothersome. All I can do is the best I can do and hope my friends will understand. It may take some time but I will be back, maybe doing less but at least doing something. I actually need the activity.
Here is an article that was published on the Positivity Blog that I would like to share with you today. I did some minor editing for space reasons but kept the main points.
5 Empowering Questions for a Self-Kinder and More Successful 2016
Is this useful?
It’s very easy to spend a lot of time on things that do not really matter much. To spend hours, days or even weeks on being angry at someone, replaying a mistake or failure in one’s mind or to dwell on something negative and feeling more and more like a victim.
So I try to ask myself this question as often as I can to question and confront my own thoughts. To catch myself and to wake myself up when I get stuck in negative thought loops going round and round. By doing so I:
- Suffer less.
- Waste less time on going round in circles.
- Spend more of my time on finding a practical solution.
What is the most important thing I can do right now?
If you get lost in what to do in your day, week and life then this question can be very helpful. It might not always give you the answer you want, because the most important thing you can do right now is often one of the harder things you can do. But it will help you to truly focus on the few things that matters the most in any area of your life. And if it feels too hard to get started with that then just ask yourself…
What is one small step I can take right now to get the ball rolling?
This is my favorite question for when I want to get started with something or if I want to get going again with something that have fallen to the side for some reason. Because it makes things easier. Makes them feel lighter. This question prevents me from trying to escape into procrastination and helps me to avoid the side-effects of that such as sinking self-esteem, self-loathing and simply a lot of time being wasted on trying to hide.
Is there anyone on the planet having it worse than me right now?
This question does seldom deliver enjoyable answers, but it sure does snap me out of negative thinking or feeling sorry for myself. Now, I think it is natural to sometimes feel sad or sorry for yourself for a little while. If you don’t take the time to process such natural responses to negative situations then those feelings can pop up later. And so you feel inexplicably sad or you might get angry or irritated at other people for no good reason. But my experience is also that these things can go too far. It’s easy to get stuck in these disempowering thoughts for too long. So I like to use this question to zoom out when I feel that my perspective has become too self-centered and narrow. And it has over the years taught me a lot about the things that I too often may take for granted but can be very grateful to have in my life.
Will this matter in 5 years? Or even 5 weeks?
This one helps me to simplify. To let go. To not make a mountain out of a molehill. To find the healthier and happier perspective. To find a lightness in life where I do not have to carry around 5 tons of unnecessary mental baggage. It’s a truly wonderful question.
Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.
At the airport for a business trip, I settled down to wait for the boarding announcement at Gate 35. Then I heard the voice on the public address system saying, “We apologize for the inconvenience, but Delta Flight 570 will board from Gate 41.” So my family picked up our luggage and carried it over to Gate 41.
Not ten minutes later the public address voice told us that Flight 570 would in fact be boarding from Gate 35. So again we gathered our carry-on luggage and returned to the original gate.
Just as we were settling down, the public address voice spoke again: “Thank you for participating in Delta’s physical fitness program.”
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
The passengers on a cruise ship were fascinated by the sight of a bedraggled, bearded man on a small island. The ship passed slowly by as he desperately shouted and waved his arms.
“Who is that person on the island?” one of the passengers asked a ship’s officer…
“I have no idea,” mused the officer “but every year when we pass that island he goes crazy.”
If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.
The Letterman Top Ten list was adapted by comics for ship jokes, then stolen by cruise directors and now is used by all of them as the top ten dumb questions asked by passengers.
“Will this elevator take me to the front of the ship?”
“Do these stairs go up or down?”
“How far are we above sea level?”
“Does the crew sleep on board?” (No, we tow them in the life boats.) ”
“Do the ship generate it’s own electricity?” (No, we pull an extension cord from Miami.)
To photographers: “If the photos aren’t marked, how do we know which ones are ours?”
“Is the water in the toilet fresh water or sea water?” (I don’t know, I haven’t tasted it.)
“What do you do with the ice carvings after they’ve melted?”
“Is there music in the Disco?”
“What time is the Midnight Buffet?”
We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.
A member of the pursers department told me that she had to deal with a complaint from one of the passengers saying that their tour guide in Egypt was a liar. When asked why, the passenger said “He told me that the pyramids were four thousand years old, does he think we are stupid? It’s only 2016 now”
Your ambition should be to get as much life out of living as you possibly can, as much enjoyment, as much interest, as much experience, as much understanding. Not simply be what is generally called a “success.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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