The Joy in the Journey

June 27, 2021 by  
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Would you agree that most of us, at one time or another, especially when we were young, had thoughts of being rich and or famous? And maybe those thoughts were followed by, “If I was rich and famous, my life would be perfect or darn near perfect!”

If you were at all like me, you certainly had those thoughts. Most people I’ve talked with over the years had those thoughts run through their mind at some point. But I’m here to tell you that a near-perfect life does not necessarily follow fame or wealth.

Yes, wealth can make a lot of things in your life an easier, but if you think that tons of money and fame will automatically bring you happiness and contentment, you’re dead wrong. In fact, I think you will find a higher early death rate and more addiction in the rich and famous than in the middle class. That is saying something about how imperfect a life with wealth and fame can be.

Riches and fame can give you a lot more choices, but you do need to be extremely careful with the choices you make. For example, gifting your wealth to charitable causes can bring far greater and longer lasting satisfaction than feeding a cocaine or alcohol addiction with all that money.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that money and fame, or going after great and lofty financial glory, are not worthy goals. Those are energizing, lots of fun, and can be very satisfying. Just be sure you enjoy each hour and day of your pursuit and be aware that whatever the end results of your journey, it won’t make your life perfect.

The thing is, nobody’s life is perfect and when you realize that and accept that fact, your satisfaction and contentment can really begin to soar. Trust me on that. I’ve been there, done that, and learned it. I have to remind myself that life is never perfect on an almost daily basis, pushing myself to concentrate on the big multi-year goals while, at the same time, remembering to “live in the now” and have tons of joy while on the journey.

Money can do great things for you, your family, and your life, but it is simply not everything. It is not the key to a happy, fulfilled life. Look beyond the wealth to what you can do to make things better for others as well as exploring and enjoying life. You don’t want your life to just be about making money. You want it to be about what that money can do for you and others. That’s where you will find the joy.

Unconditional Self-Acceptance

June 20, 2021 by  
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I do a lot of self-talk, as I’ve said before, saying all kinds of positive things to myself. I use things like, “I’m happy and healthy,” “I am very upbeat and positive,” and many more.

You probably know that self-talk can lift the brain to greater heights, so you can imagine how happy I was when, just last week, I came across another great thing to say to myself every day, several times a day.

It was something that a wise coach and counselor from years back said to me. He had asked if I had ever heard of USA.

Of course, I said, “Yes, we all live here, right?”

“No, not that USA,“ he said.

As it turned out, he was talking about it being the abbreviation for “Unconditional Self-Acceptance”. Remembering this, I thought, wow, I like that saying and thought.

So, last week, I started reminding myself of the concept of unconditional self-acceptance. I repeated the phrase many times each day and, yes, it lifted my spirits and confidence in myself. It’s so simple but so effective.

The thing is, when you totally accept who you are and accept what you have done so far in your life, your life feels better and, yes, it builds up your confidence. And while you’re accepting yourself and your life in a more positive way, you can start accepting your friends and even people you don’t like for who they are and the good that they’ve done in their lives. This acceptance of others, as well as yourself, will lift your spirits and happiness factor.

Looking back at the famous and super successful people that I’ve met, like the Dalai Lama, Joe Biden, other past presidents, and other accomplished people, it almost always strikes me that they seem to believe in themselves immensely, even when they failed at different things or at different stages in their lives. Yes, they all seemed to believe in “Unconditional Self-Acceptance”.

I will certainly stick with that saying. It’s already making a difference. Maybe you should consider saying that to yourself and see if it makes a difference in how you think about yourself and your world too.

Choose Inspriation over Intimidation

August 12, 2011 by  
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Last week I had lunch with 3 very talented authors–Richard Paul Evans, Lynn Lehmann and Keith J. Karren* and we got to talking about why people like meeting celebrities. My theory has been that it makes one feel better about oneself, either because it gives the individual a sense of importance (and maybe some bragging rights) or, like me, they come away realizing these are just ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things.

My companions did not agree though. The dominant opinion was that most people are intimidated by celebrities and they do not come away seeing them as ordinary. So I may be wrong or maybe there are just some people that see pretty much everybody as ordinary while the rest are awed by those who have gained the limelight. But this brings up a question–are our tendencies to be intimidated or inspired intrinsic to our personality or do we choose the way we react to meeting famous people? Because if you have the chance to meet a successful celebrity, don’t you want to get something more out of it than bragging rights?

I’m sure we can choose how to look at fame and being intimidated doesn’t do us any good so I think the obvious choice is to be inspired. Most every time I have met a well-known, prosperous person I become encouraged to do more with my own life. I usually end up setting more and tougher goals for myself. I feel that, in many ways, I’m no different from them, so why can’t I be super successful too?

There is no reason why not. And there is no reason why meeting a famous person can’t be turned into an opportunity to push yourself for bigger and better things.

*Richard Paul Evans has written about 18 books and sold over 17 million copies–his latest book is “Michael Vey- The Prisoner of Cell 25”. Lynn Lehmann’s latest book is “Clear Illusion”. Keith J. Karren’s latest book is “Boomer-Resilience Through Life’s Second Half”