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Never Stop Asking

June 26, 2022 by  
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Here’s a great question that all of us should ask ourselves: What do I really want out of life?

If you seriously want to improve your life, spend some intense time thinking and meditating on what your life has been in the past and what you want it to be in the future. Doing so can, and will, lift your mind and body to a new and higher level. This will raise the success and satisfaction in your life over and above any material success or other success you derive from going after your goals.

Hinduism tells us that every human being wants four things:

1. Pleasure

2. Success.

3. Responsible discharge of duty.

4. Liberation.

It’s up to you to determine what each of these things means in your life, but you do want to ask yourself if you’re achieving some version of these in a way that adds to the happiness and quality of your life.

Regularly examining our life helps us keep on track and reevaluate what we’re presently doing. Here is a great list of questions that we all should all ask ourselves on a regular basis.

1. Do you want your life to be just another life?

2. Do you want to be average?

3. Do you want to make a difference in this world?

4. Does accomplishment mean a lot to you?

5. Do you want to become a better you, a better person?

6. Do you want to be in great physical and mental shape with ideal health your entire life?

7. Do you want to live a very long, active life?

8. Do you want to make a fortune—a million or ten million or even 100 million dollars?

9. Do you want your own fortune so you’d have more choices in your life?

10. Do you want to leave the world a better place than you found it?

11. Do you want to help others as you help yourself?

12. Do you want to travel and experience the entire world and its cultures?

13. Do you want to substantially raise your level of contentment and fulfillment?

Going over this list and thinking of all I could do if I just focused on what I truly wanted raised my mind and feelings to a new high level. I hope that it does the same for you!!

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.

Refilling Your Social Life in a Fulfilling Retirement

February 8, 2019 by  
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The great thing about regular work or a job is that it gives you a good reason to get out of bed each morning and get going, and it is very important when you retire is to set something up that replaces that for you. One way to do that, as I mentioned in last week’s post, is put yourself to work in a way that can better the world.

As you push yourself to get involved with a charity, or whatever it is that you choose, you will find that you can replace what your work gave you in terms of structure and routine with the activities of your new mission. This will give you something to get you out of bed but, just as important, that structure and routine will also give you a new social aspect to your life.

Most of us develop a significant social life that revolves around work, but then, when we retire, this is often lost. So, getting involved in a charity or other organization can replace what you are missing when you leave your job or no longer work. It will do all that while you do a little something to make the world a better place.

Most of us humans really don’t realize how very important our social contacts are until they disappear or are greatly diminished when we retire. It’s not that you won’t know those same people or continue to have great friendships with some of them, but when you’re no longer working together, you are suddenly not nearly as involved in each other’s lives and you don’t see each other nearly so often. Most people will greatly miss the regular social contact if they do not replace it with another purposeful and regular activity that also involves time connecting and interacting with other people.

Each of us will have our own plan but here is what I plan on doing to push myself to create a new routine, structure, and source of social connections in my life that will make me get out of bed every morning and look forward to the day: I would like to teach grade school, high school, and university students in classes on writing, marketing, public speaking, financial methods and strategies, and maybe even tennis, on a regular scheduled time and day. I know quite a bit about all those subjects, and I do love to teach others how to do these things and show them how they can have great success and a huge sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from learning these new skills.

So, my challenge to you is to start thinking about your own retirement and start making plans on what you will do to create routine, structure, and social connections. Make a list now, even if you are many years away from retirement. You can change up that list as things come to you but just being aware of the necessity will help you create a fulfilling plan. You won’t be sorry if you do that now!

Getting into the ‘Flow’

February 4, 2011 by  
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I recently sat down and re-read, for maybe the 6th or 7th time, Mihaly Csikszentmihaly’s fantastic book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. He has some very intriguing ideas and I wanted to share some them with you over the next few weeks.

First of all, the basic idea of the book and the theory he discusses is that we are happiest when we are in, what he calls, a state of ‘flow’. This is that moment when you become completely engrossed in what you are doing and everything else around you kind of disappears. Some people call it being in the zone or getting in a groove. But whatever it’s called, it is usually spoken of with fervor, excitement or longing and I think we’d all like to spend a lot more time there.

You can only be in flow, though if the task on hand is of particular interest to you and you have some level of skill to work with. Plus it needs to be challenging–nothing frustratingly hard, but challenging enough to motivate you to keep working at it. A natural interest combined with a testing of our skills gives us an intense sense of fulfillment, so much so that things like time, food, comfort, and even ego are lost. We get to a point where we do the task for the sake of the task and reach a state of productive harmony.

I’m thinking, though, you don’t have to get into the zone or a groove to make these ideas bring more happiness into your life on a regular basis. Whether it’s tasks you are accomplishing at your job, with your business, while working on a hobby or even fixing up the house you can develop your skills so that you do what you do well. Then challenge yourself and your skills. That same sense of fulfillment and happiness can be a part of your every day then, not just those super cool moments when you’re in the flow. But, of course, making it a goal to have more of those trance like flow moments would certainly make for a happier you as well.