Doing Enough?

Uptight.

Are YOU doing enough today?

Are you doing enough at your job?  I’m sure you could be doing better.  What about your health?  Your eating clean.  But are you exercising?  Are you getting daily sun exposure?  Are you working on your emotions?  Are your kids happy?  Is your wife happy?  When does it end?  Most of us are taught something here.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS DOING ENOUGH!  There is always something else we could be doing better.  There is always something we could be resolving.  So where do we find a balance?  Many people are truly not doing enough.  Many of us are trying to do too much.  So how do we figure this out?

PRIORITIZE:  Create priorities for your life.  We tend to focus too much on the things that don’t really matter and not enough on the stuff that really matters.  The ironic thing here?  When we focus on the stuff that REALLY matters, we find that we don’t strive so much on the little things.  What are the things I would advise working on?  Focus on the big things in life first.  GOD, FAMILY, HEALTH, RELAXATION, PASSION, PURPOSE, INNER PEACE AND HAPPINESS, FRIENDSHIPS, etc.  Don’t stress so much about how clean your car is, how much you can bench press, what your “macronutrient” ratios are, what you are NOT doing, etc.  These just are not important.  In fact, when we find ourselves focusing too much on TRYING to be perfect on superficial things; it often tells us that we are not listening to something bigger going on.  Why do you feel the need to vacuum your house every day?  Why do you feel like you have to defend yourself against what people think about you?  Why do you change the channel to avoid viewing something uncomfortable to you?  We need to build our houses with the proper foundations.  Tomorrow I will discuss the proper way to do this.  In the meantime, remember you’re a human being.  Remember that most of us are doing the best we can.  Often, it is WHERE we are putting our efforts that is the problem.  Remember to take time to rest and relax.  Remember you ARE doing enough in a lot of areas in your life. =)

-JOE

HAPPINESS Health Series Conclusion: PASSION

 

happy kid from Iran

I could keep thinking of small topics here and there but these are the main ones.  Laughter, joy, smiling, slack, etc.  I have saved probably the most important one for last.  That is PASSION.  What is it?

 

With Passion we can do almost anything.  Without it, we struggle by in life and wonder where we went wrong.  The unfortunate reality is that most of us get stuck somewhere along the way with fears or insecurities.  We give up on our passions and dreams bit by bit until they are nothing but a distant memory.  This is terrible for our sense of happiness.  What can we do about it?

 

FIND YOU:  Take some time to really find out who you are.  A lot of people are following the dream of their family or of society at large and are not really sure what they want to do or who they are.  Using some techniques for finding out who you are unique from everyone else is a huge step in finding your passions.  Start paying attention to your dreams, discharge any past emotional baggage.  You may find out that who YOU are has just been covered up by a lot of who you are NOT!

 

GOALS:  Set aside time to write down your goals.  This can be something very small or something very big.  Maybe you want to cut soda out of your life so that you can lose weight.  Maybe you want to survive your illness so that you can help the world.  There is no right or wrong answer here.  The point is to put something down on paper things that you wish to accomplish that will help fuel your passions.

 

EVOLVE:  Finding and living your passions is an evolutionary process.  It does not happen over night.  It requires constant dedication, drive, courage, and love.  We need to nurture our “creations” so that they take fruit in the long-run.  We need to be in it for the long-haul.  

 

Passion is a long-term project.  It requires us to allow the fullness of our being to come into contact with the world.  This is not an easy task.

 

Refer to other tips on happiness.  When following your passions the going gets tough.  You WILL come up against obstacles.  You WILL come up against your own fears as well as others fears.  These are just bumps in the road that we must overcome if we want to truly live with passion.  But what could be more worthwhile?  Hope everyone enjoyed the series =) Smile.

 

-Joe

 

HAPPINESS Health Series: Relationships

friends

 

It seems like somewhere our priorities got switched around doesn’t it?  When did family and friend relationships take a back seat to work and accumulation of “stuff.”  It seems like there are so many of us in this country who are living in bad relationships.  The divorce rate is what, 50%?  Children get abused, people are not being honest or upfront, problems happen.  And nobody seems happy.  What’s the deal?

We are humans.  We are not designed to be by ourselves here.  We are part of a bigger whole.  This includes being interdependent on many things around us.  These could include the air you breathe, the sun, the water, the food you eat, as well as plants, animals, and OTHER HUMANS.  Somewhere along the line we started favoring not addressing certain problems in these areas in favor of distracting ourselves with other forms of “media.”  Of course it is good to be nice and what not but what about being real?

If I have a problem with a friend or family member I am not going to “BRUSH” it under the rug or shrug it off.  Conflict may not always be fun but at least things are always cleared out.  When we deal with things in an upfront manner we refuse to set the stage for blow-ups and repressed stuff to come out later.  This prevents little things from turning into big problems.  Sometimes conflicts are simply misunderstandings.  Other times they are just different human beings in the same space at the same time.  We need to let go of this “I’m right your wrong” or “My way is better” attitude and just let people live how they want as well.

When your close relationships are working great it is a lot easier to relax and be at peace with whatever is going on in your life currently.  Here are a few simple tips to start getting those relationships on the right track.  These are not always easy but seem to be worth the effort.

HUMILITY:  This is probably the one that stops most of us.  We don’t like being WRONG!  We don’t like saying SORRY!  Well guess what?  Sometimes we are ALL wrong and mistaken.  Sometimes we say crappy things to people that hurt their feelings.  Sometimes we DO things we shouldn’t have done.  Whatever it is it doesn’t matter.  It is amazing what a heartfelt apology can do for a relationship.  It takes a lot of courage and “high-road thinking” to admit you were wrong and apologize to people.  Often this step alone can fix the majority of problems when both parties are willing.

UNDERSTANDING:  Understand that I am not you.  You are not me.  We need different diets.  We need different exercise programs.  We meditate and pray differently.  How cool right?  Would it really be very much fun here if everyone were exactly the same?  I think the main reason we try to fit everyone into “our mold” is just another way to try to control our own lives.  If everyone behaved in a predictable manner then maybe we could better predict our lives.  Understanding on a deep level that we are all unique is very important in understanding people.  What is important to you may not be important to someone else and that’s OK!

COMPROMISE:  After thinking about understanding people; there will come times in ANY relationship in which you don’t want to do the same thing.  Maybe it is something as simple as what movie to watch.  Maybe it is as drastic as your view on God and the world.  Does this mean we fight about things?  Not at all.  It is our job as humans to decide to compromise on things.  Of course we need to realize that sometimes compromise is not the right choice as well.  But compromising on the little things is usually best.  Will your life be ruined if you don’t eat exactly what you want for dinner every night?  Well sitting through a show or movie to please a friend or family member be that bad?  When we compromise with others they are also more likely to return the favor (hopefully) =)

HONESTY/DIRECTNESS:  You need to be honest plain and simple.  Honesty DOES NOT just mean telling the truth with regard to factual information such as “where you were” or “what happened at school.”  It means being upfront with your EMOTIONS as well.  Your pissed off at somebody?  Tell them!  You got upset by something a friend said?  Tell them!  This step is about learning to be upfront instead of holding things inside all the time.  If two people can do this then they will avoid a lot of problems down the road.  Again, it may not always be pleasant but it works.

So these are the basics guys.  Ultimately it comes down to a choice.  Do you really want your relationships to work out?  Do you want them to be smooth and loving?  If so, we can’t keep running from the issues.  Life has problems.  We have just created so many in our modern world that we have trained ourselves to ignore certain ones =)  So let’s reclaim a bit of our happiness back by healing our relationships with both our families, our friends, and ourselves.

-Joe

Does Being NICE Get in the Way of Your Health?

FAKE!

 

 

Does being nice get in the way of your health?  Everybody is supposed to be nice right?  Don’t ever offend anybody.  Don’t criticize anybody.  Don’t inconvenience anyone else.  Maybe never upset people even if it means not speaking up for yourself?

 

Don’t fall into that trap.  When we do this we end up making ourselves a doormat for life.  With that attitude you will basically walk around as a sponge soaking up all the negative things around you.  How does this get in the way of your health?

 

1. PRIORITIES:  It interferes with your own priorities.  When you give other people’s wants and needs over your own; yours always take the back seat.  Maybe you really don’t want to eat junk food again but your friend does.  Maybe your wife or husband really wants to go see a late movie when you know you should really be sleeping getting ready for work or school the next day.  Things that are important to us fall to the side of the road when we put other people’s priorities above our own.

 

2. EMOTIONAL HEALTH:  This is a big one.  When we choose to be “nice” with our feelings it usually again means giving other people precedence.  If a friend or family member is mad we may stuff our own emotions to please or “help” them in some way.  We may not tell a boss, teacher, or friend when we think something they did was really crappy or wrong.  So again, this basically turns you into a sponge that is just going to soak up your own emotions (negative and positive).

 

3. CHANGING:  It is very hard to change when you are trying to be “nice” all the time.  Life always has open doors through which personal change can occur.  If we let the opinions of others or being nice affect us daily then those doors can never be walked through.  It is an invisible barrier that we see that stops us from getting to the other side.

 

So what do we do here?  The first thing you need to realize is that nobody is “NICE.”  There are definitely people who are pleasant and caring and compassionate and loving.  These are all good qualities.  What i mean by “nice” is always putting others needs ahead of your own, keeping quiet when you are truly ANGRY inside, not giving voice to YOUR opinions and ideas, etc.  So how do people get stuck in the nice trap?  It usually seems to have to do with self-esteem.  People don’t want to be judged or thought badly of so they try to be people pleasers.  This never works out in the long run for anyone.  The “nice” people end up pissed off at themselves and the world and that isn’t GOOD for any of us right?

 

So the lesson here?  Be a good person.  Be an honorable and loyal person.  Be a forgiving person.  Be unselfish and giving.  Be loving.  But be honest with yourself.  If something somebody does bugs you; TELL THEM!  If you need time for yourself, TAKE IT!  If you feel you are being treated unfairly or want to voice your opinion, SAY IT!  Don’t let the mask of; “Oh I’m just a nice guy/girl” become your excuse for not listening to your own inner wisdom.  This all comes down to your viewpoint on LOVE which will be another post.  We tend to think that love is always nice?  Well I can tell you that it isn’t =)  But it is GOOD.

 

-Joe

 

 

 

Benefits of living your TRUTH

North America and Pelican Nebulae (narrowband)

 

We are often taught to live beyond our truth.  We are taught to ignore the truth in our lives if it means facing something uncomfortable or painful.  Maybe this means spending more money than we have.  Maybe it means pretending that the food we are eating is not going to make us sick down the road.  Maybe it means not addressing a serious problem in a relationship that needs worked on.  Maybe it means listening to a part of ourselves that we haven’t acknowledged for a long time, if ever.  What does all this have in common?

It all comes from living OUR truth.  The truth and reality of our situations.  Our health, relationships, finances, emotions, and more.  It usually means looking at a lot of uncomfortable stuff that we didn’t want to deal with at the time.  Maybe we couldn’t deal with it at the time.  Maybe we didn’t know how.  Most of us here are brought up by our culture to never be satisfied with ourselves.  Not satisfied with our looks, our fitness, our relationships, our jobs, our financial situations, etc.  There is always another level to reach.  Another goal.  But when do we see that the REAL goal is to never be happy but always be striving for MORE?  We get in a routine of pushing that extra mile out of ourselves.  We get in the habit of pretending that we are getting a little more done than we really are.  We pretend that things don’t bother us so that we can keep up appearances.  Is this truly the best thing for us?

Living your truth often involves developing a deep relationship with ourselves and with God.  It means admitting our flaws, our faults, our imperfections, our fears, our worries, our grievances to ourselves and God.  Sometimes admitting these to other people can be very refreshing as well.  It means looking at everything that we are taught not to look at.  It means choosing to follow life on a deeper level than your mind or body.  Sometimes during this process, we will have to face a lot of pain.  Pain over where our relationships are, where our health is at, WHY we do some of the things we do.  It may involve facing some trauma that you once suppressed or were not even aware of.  When you start living in truth, you will begin to get a chance to face down all the parts of yourself that are not in line with your greater good or with God.  What happens when you start doing this?

Sometimes you find a lot of stuff you DON’T LIKE about yourself.  Maybe you don’t treat members of your friends or family with the respect they deserve.  Maybe a lot of the things you do on a daily basis have more to do with fear and your ego than they do with love and respect.  It means looking at life where it is.  Sometimes life is pretty screwed up and WE don’t want to see it.  Deep down it simply means making conscious what we store unconsciously anyway.  Often times we know how our relationships are doing.  How our finances are doing, our jobs.  But a part of us doesn’t want to look.  So I will not sit here and act like this is an easy process.  It is very difficult to wash out this type of programming.  Why would we want to live in truth instead of fabricated reality?

Living in truth allows us to build our lives from the ground up.  We start prioritizing what truly matters for US.  This usually means focusing on the basics in life.  Building our health, our families, our relationships, fueling our passions, etc.  This allows us to feel very good about what we are working on.  Maybe it means putting more money into healthy food for the family instead of that new car.  Maybe it means spending time with your spouse or kids to develop loving, sturdy relationships.  It means acknowledging the areas in our lives that are hard and facing up to them.  In the end, you will discover better ways to manage your own life.  You will find ways to make more our of less.  You will find ways to accept yourself and your situations in life.  Ironically, by admitting our own humanity and weaknesses; our lives become better than we could have imagined =)

-Joe

Self Acceptance VS. Proving Yourself

Red Lamborghini Gallardo, to be used as an icon.

 

 

Do you accept yourself unconditionally?  This is a complex topic that most of us in the west can relate with well.  Growing up, society has basically taught us that we can only accept ourselves when we are doing more.  Getting a nicer job, a better car, a better body, and fancier toys.  We are basically taught that our acceptance or “identity” does not come from somewhere within us but that it comes from other people’s opinions of us.  This is why you have so many people running around showing off, talking about their new flat screen TV, or bodybuilders that go to ridiculous lengths just to get that “perfect size or shape.”  Now maybe some of this stuff is a passion for you and I don’t have a problem with that.  I think cars and bikes are cool and having some especially to tinker with would be a blast.  Maybe i love exercise and i like being fit enough to do that.  That is fine.  It’s when it turns from something you personally enjoy to something that you feel like you “have to do,” or something society “thinks” you should do.  You may find that half of the time you are just doing things because you feel pressured to do it.  Do you really want to shove down that extra burger or loaded cheese fries just to prove you can eat a lot?  Do you girls really need those 200 dollar shoes or 400 dollar designer purse?  It doesn’t take much to see that all of this stuff has no real survival value.  It’s just material things that help us feel better about our “place” in life.  And we are supposed to basically stay in this rat race our whole lives accumulating and bettering our place in the world.  I could rant about this all day probably but the main point is to look at your motivation for doing things.  Maybe you don’t feel so hot one night but your buddy’s call you a “little girl” or whatever because you don’t want to go out to the bar that night.  Don’t be the guy who caves in just to feel accepted.  Don’t be the girl who buys all this fancy stuff so she thinks it will help her land the right guy or feel good about herself.  Do we really want to be in relationships with people who choose us for our material success?  Sad to say, but if i drive down the road in a brand new dodge viper, Camaro, or big new truck, there will be flocks of girls.  But do i really want those girls that see the vehicle?  I don’t.  So I just ask you, when your making decisions in life, where do they come from?  What are your motivations?  Are they to please other people or are they to please yourself.  And what you will find is that the more you work on accepting yourself and doing what you want, a huge weight will come off your chest.  A lot of us spend a ton of our lives energy into impressing other people.  This is no way to live.  So be yourself, do what you want to do, and don’t let what anybody thinks get in the way of that.

 

-Joe