Happiness

I have many books that I love to pull out from time to time and read a special passage that i’ve marked for just such a future time. They are phrases, words of wisdom or even an amazing chapter that made me think: “Wow! I wish I had the talent/fortitude to write in verbiage like that!” Some of those books are unusual and historical like “George Washington’s Rules Of Civility” which contains various script from the Latin origins and other languages. Weird, I know. But Enlightening!

Today I read from one of my favorites: Dr. Mike Murdock’s “The Wisdom Commentary – Volume 1” Today’s segment is from Chapter 23 on Happiness:

“Happiness is feeling good about the happenings in your life. Do not confuse it with popularity, which simply means others feel good about you. But what you think about yourself, your character, and your own accomplishments determines your real sense of worth and value. ”

Galations 6:4 ” But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another”

As I move further and further from allowing myself to be hindered by others dictates, I see in myself the wisdom built up over several decades of pursuing the knowledge and advice of so many that have laid groundwork before me. I am humbled to know that I was a miserable mess for much of that journey, and that without every person who have contributed to my life, I may never have reached these moments of happiness. I take time to celebrate the choices that were mine to make – that were indeed made. Now, its time to make some better choices in areas I have not been so civil or wise. Indeed I have no happiness there. Time to work.

Discussing Problems

– A teaser from my unpublished book to help you find solutions and overcome all the stuff holding you back.

“Refuse to discuss your challenges with someone who is incapable of solving them. Often the people we enjoy talking to aren’t helping us grow and fix things…many people think they are helping by telling you “everything will be ok” or “you are fine” when they actually mean “average”, “passable” or “you probably won’t die”. If these words don’t describe your dreams and vision… Run! Average in America means “in-debt with no real future”, “broken families” and “generally unhealthy”.
Don’t share your problems with people who only feed on the negative energy of dysfunction. They waste your time and their own. Move on. People will always do one of the following: lift you up, or pull you down. Give it time and watch the people around you…they will eventually reveal who they are to you.” – Shaun A Hays

Would you like to see more from this book? How have friends helped or pulled you down? Let me know your thoughts!

Untouched By The Flame

Flame

Image via Wikipedia

This article is an extension of Chapter 9 in my book The Burning Heart Of A Difference Maker.

If you have not read the chapter already click here.

Untouched By The Flame

It has always astounded me how one person can go through a tragedy and be forever traumatized and another person can go through the same thing and come out seemingly unaffected at all.  I have always wondered what it is that makes them different and if that difference is something we can learn or obtain. One person I know was absolutely traumatized by the footage of people they did not know jumping to their death on 9/11 while another person I know cleans up suicide scenes as part of their job and is well balanced and sleeps fine at night.  How are these two people different? Is one weak minded? Is it that they are too sensitive? If that were so than by default the other is not sensitive enough and has something wrong with them. I think that is not the answer at all.

While I’m sure there are hundreds of variables in every situation I have searched for the best underlying and simplistic solution for many years and discovered that all evidence points to a very easy answer: “Input Creates Output”. I know it is simple on the surface and that’s the beauty of it, really. It is simple enough for anyone to apply right where they are… and complex enough to handle anything we need. Let’s look at example:

If I had a set of scales and dropped half a deck of cards onto one side, it would quickly tip the scale in almost violent fashion. However if I do the same to the other side, we have balance. Easy right? So let’s look at this like our thoughts:

Let’s say one side of the scale is Stress and the other is Success. Everyone’s situation can be interpreted by which is emotionally winning. Sure there are other factors but lets focus only on how it makes you feel, for a moment. We all have stress in our lives. We have different amounts of stressors in our lives, some big and some small. If I have a major life event that suddenly throws me into chaos, it is like having a large amount of cards tossed onto the stress side of the scale. If you don’t have enough on the success side of the scale, it will quickly take you down and life will feel heavy and unmanageable. If you have a major life event that goes on the Success side, (like a dream fulfilled) it launches your stress side skyward and make any problem easier to bear.

Problem: the major life events that add sudden heavy weight to either side is usually out of our control. However we see from studies on brain function and cognitive behavior that thinking about a negative event (or a stressor) causes the nerve endings that hold that thought in long-term memory to grow and become physically bigger. You feed your memories and make them stronger by remembering them, talking about them or even obsessing over them. If this is true we can balance our scale ON PURPOSE no matter what our history has been. Dwell on times you HAVE succeeded and done the right thing. Feed those memories. Dwell on good things that have been done to you or said to you. Refuse to keep feeding all the toxic thoughts that come to your head or give too much validity to negative things said or done to you.

Every time you think about a bad memory and dwell on it with emotion you are throwing another card onto that side of the scale. Sure one card won’t do much, but this is why it is said that we are the “sum of our decisions”. It doesn’t mean you are worthless because you fail often. It means you need to adjust your scale to gain balance and eventually great success.

Smart people save money for emergencies and add “cards” daily to their success side of the scale for the same reason. How well will you handle the next big stressor?

LEVEL UP! Read my blog entry: “Remember The Future


Remember The Future!

Memories

Memories (Photo credit: Mark Morgan Trinidad A)

Remember your favorite lost or stolen toy for a moment. If i asked you, you could probably discuss it at length with me. Color, size, the way it smelled and the way it made you feel. However if I asked you to prove to me it exists, you cannot.

You remember.

Sure, you may have pictures or movies of it, but it is gone. Memory is stored information that, when accessed by thought, creates a feeling and releases chemicals in our brain that feed that memory and keep it strong. Like watering and fertilizing a garden.

Negative memories are like weeds that can overtake your garden. (I’ll blog on that sometime soon!)

Here’s a crazy fact: Imagination is very similar to memory.

Let me show you: Imagine a car you’d like to drive. Go ahead. Imagine it vividly. The color, size, shapes… the smell of new leather etc. Imagine yourself opening the door and getting in slowly as if you have been waiting for this day your whole life. Imagine that it is YOUR new car! Imagine it is paid for in full with money you saved and earned. You sacrificed many other things that were less important to you to get it and it is very special to you. A smile overcomes you face as you grip the steering wheel and a man hands you the keys. “Here you are…it’s all yours! Go have fun!” You wave to your friends and turn the key. You have all day to just cruise in your dream wherever you wish. Go show it off if you want or just go be alone on a country road. Just you and your smile.

You just accessed your imagination and stimulated nerve growth in your brain. You mind created a “memory” or a document of that thought. It may not seem the same as remembering something in the past, because you used more senses to create your memories so they are usually stronger, but the growth happens either way. You can remember your future.

So why do it?

We live our lives according to the input our brains have received. If you dream of going to Paris one day, there is a much greater chance you will find a way there and even learn how to speak some french. A person who constantly thinks of themselves as a future pig farmer will more than likely do neither. It doesn’t mean it will just happen, but think of it like this: if I asked you to find a 5 purple flowers in the next 5 days and you really wanted to do it…YOU WOULD. You might find them in a field, the mall or in someone’s yard, but you’d find them because you were tuned in to “Purple Flowers”. If you couldn’t find them any other way and you really wanted to see them… you’d create them. Maybe you’d paint them or maybe you’d order them or sculpt them out of a purple onion… but you’d find a way to produce them if you were obsessed with it.

Dreamers who obsess over their dream produce it in some form…often the real thing. We all obsess. We just don’t think we do, admit it, or want to. We do. You do.

So, do it on purpose. Change your world. Dream and obsess over something amazing and worth your time and energy. Remember your future!