Your Happiness Perspective

One of the greatest challenges we all face is seeing our own value. Some of us do a lot of boasting and act all self-important, but all too often we’re unaware of exactly how awesome we are. It’s partly because we are with ourselves all the time and we just get used to who we are. It’s also because we get told by others how capable or incapable we are, and if we hear it often enough we start to believe it, whether it’s true or not. A third, and unfortunately too often true, reason would be that we simply aren’t aware of how much potential we have. It’s all too easy to just get wrapped up in life the way it is and not think about changing things. Life is complicated and challenging enough without bringing in more changes than we already have to deal with.

But it’s exactly when we choose not to pursue our potential that we choose to make our lives miserable, or at least a shadow of what it could be. I can do tons of things for you but ultimately it’s up to you to choose the things that will satisfy you, make you happy and fulfill you. I can’t force you to be happy or satisfied with life, that can only be decided and felt by you. I may get satisfaction from helping you or completing a job for you, but I can’t make you experience the same thing. So what does that mean? It really means that we have to be comfortable with ourselves enough to accept who we really are and what we need from life. It means accepting in all brutal honesty who we are, warts and all.

Perspective is a funny thing; the world looks much different when you sit on the floor, stand, or fly through the sky. Not sure? Just a simple exercise of walking through a park or your yard and then sitting on the ground can show you exactly what I mean.  Sitting the world looks much bigger than it does when you stand. But, just like optical illusions, the world isn’t really any bigger when you’re sitting, standing or flying, it’s all the same size, it just seems different because you’ve got a different perspective on it.

So if you’re feeling lost this week, ask someone else what they see as your potential. I honestly believe that we’re all world changers deep inside, some of us are just waiting to be released, or unleashed, on the world. If you can’t see your own potential initially that’s OK, don’t be afraid to reach out to a coach or someone who can give you a positive perspective (don’t bother chatting with those who don’t like you, they’ll just convince you that you don’t have potential to find). It’s not a bad thing to ask for help if you can’t see your own value.

“A man cannot be made comfortable without his own approval.” Barbara Walters

You Can Make A Difference

Even as young kids we were aware that there were rich people and people who were not as rich, items that were really big and awesome and others that weren’t so great, and foods that were special treats and others we could have anytime even if we didn’t really like them.  You may not have really fancy tastes, or you may have all the money in the world to buy any treats you want.   You may be happy with the most luxurious hotel suite, or you may be happier with a simple cabin in the woods.  We each have different tastes and preferences, which is why we’re each so special.  So today I want to talk about this struggle we have with our differences.

1-the lie of good and bad.  In most cases it’s not a case of good versus bad, just a case of different.  My cup of coffee may be a lot less expensive than yours, but that doesn’t make it either good or bad.  I may have a preference for long walks in the park and you may enjoy a night at the bowling alley, neither are good or bad. You may like dogs and I may like cats, but neither are good or bad. Just because we like different things, even two similar things that are different because of location or price, doesn’t make them good or bad.

2-the challenge of price.  Just because it’s more expensive some people will automatically determine that something is better than another, or because it’s cheaper it’s not as good.  We do use money as a determining factor in making choices, often because it’s easier, and in many cases we have learned that expensive things can be better made or larger or look a certain way.

3-just because we’re rich or poor doesn’t mean we can’t improve.  Money does bring a lot of opportunities with it to the table, there’s no denying that it makes many things easier.  But just because we’re poor doesn’t mean that we can’t become rich, and just because we’re rich doesn’t mean we have or know everything.  Money or size should not be our determining factor as to what’s real or important or valuable in the world.  You’re not more important or better because you do or don’t have lots of money.

So where does that leave us?  It leaves us with the choice to be willing to work at our lives where we are.  We’ve each been given a position, one that we can always improve, but one that we can make great differences in without moving up the financial or social ladder.  Our willingness to see our lives as insignificant or too important and ignore what goes on around us is a mistake.  When we choose to make a difference where we are and as who we are we’re able to actually do good things, instead of waiting for a better time.

“Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.”  Frank Lloyd Wright

2014: The Year of You

This week with this new year, I hope you made an important decision: the decision to stand up for yourself.  We’re all very busy in our day to day lives, each of us have many responsibilities, obligations and people relying on us.  But you know who the most important person is that’s relying on you, right?

You!

If you’re not taking care of yourself and making decisions that support you, you can’t fulfill your responsibilities, obligations or help those relying on you.  If you’re struggling to finish all your work, take a break!  If you’re going through a divorce, the most important person you should be caring for is YOU!  If you’re not making yourself, and your health, a priority, your priorities are wrong.

I’ll say it again: if you’re dead because you didn’t care for yourself, you can’t help anyone or make a difference in the world.

So while it is essential that you make sure you’re not being selfish, insensitive, lazy or irresponsible, you do need to make sure that you take time each day to sit and relax, to eat good and healthy food (most of the time), to get some exercise, to play with your kids and be a parent, and to know when to take a break from your work.  Know when you need a break and take one!

When was the last time you took 5 minutes for yourself, postponed a meeting a few hours so you could drop your kids off at school, or set in stone a date night for each month with your partner? How about the last time you said “no” to someone?  Do one thing each day this week to care for yourself, and put yourself as a high priority in your life in 2014.

Magical Disney Wisdom

If you’ve got kids, or if you were a kid once, you’ve heard of Disney.  From movies to cruises, the Disney name seems to be everywhere.  Since yesterday was creator Walt Disney’s birthday I thought I would share some Disney movie wisdom with you.

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” The Emperor of China, Mulan

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin, Winnie The Pooh

“Always let your conscience be your guide.” Pinocchio, Pinocchio

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.” Rafiki, Lion King

“You’re mad, bonkers, off your head! But I’ll tell you a secret: all the best people are.” Alice Kingsley, Alice in Wonder Land

“Even miracles take a little time.” Fairy Godmother, Cinderella

“I am on my way, I can go the distance. I don’t care how far, somehow I’ll be strong. I know every mile, will be worth my while. I will go most anywhere to find where I belong.” Hercules, Hercules

“You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.” Pocahontas, Pocahontas

“Take it from an old spectator. Life’s not a spectator sport. If watchin’ is all you’re gonna do, then you’re gonna watch your life go by without ya.” Laverne, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

“All it takes is faith and trust.” Peter Pan, Peter Pan

What wise lessons have you learned from Disney movies?

The Core of Commitment

This month we’ve been talking about commitment.  We’ve talked about commitment igniting action, commitment to your business and life,  some things you can be committed to, and being committed to who you are.  When it comes down to what commitment is, commitment is all about people.  Behind each and every commitment are people.

‘Of course there are!’  I can hear you saying.  Let’s get some perspective for a minute.  You can talk about politics and say it’s all about the money.  You can look at a painting and only see paint and brush strokes.  You can look at your dinner and only see food.  You can be in a business and make decisions based on strategic advantages.

But when you make a decision, a commitment, it becomes about you, the person.  It’s about your beliefs and views, your hopes, dreams, knowledge, and the people in your life.  It becomes personal.

What I don’t think we realize, or admit, is that when you make a commitment, when I make a commitment, it affects more people than just us.  One’s commitment to junk food means more expensive healthy food.   One’s commitment to throwing out everything affects their green neighbor.  A politician’s commitment to big businesses affects common citizens.  One’s commitment to poor parenting affects their child’s life.  Now, I’m not criticizing every commitment here, I’m just pointing out that any and all commitments you make have an affect on someone else.

This week before you make a commitment or decision I encourage you to stop and think about who will be affected by your commitment.  You’re never alone in your commitments.  If you’ve got some practical examples you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them below.

Family Mental Health

What great, and empowering, things have you done this month?  May is almost over, we’ve just got a few brief days left to celebrate Memorial Day (link), and to make sure we’ve supported our mental health.  We would be leaving a major point out if we closed out May without talking about mental health, families and relationships.  Are you supported by your family?  Do you have a healthy relationship or are you constantly giving and not receiving?  Let’s talk about 3 points for each of us to follow to get started having healthier relationships at home.

Schedule: I’m a big fan of communicating schedules, plans and opportunities.  First though, you have to have a plan and schedule for yourself!  Do you actually take the time to write down your schedule, when you’ll be working/have commitments, when you’ll be with the kids, and when you’ll be with your partner?  Don’t let those things slide or be put to the side, actually plan those times into your schedule so you know that you’re not letting a relationship take second place all the time.  By sharing your schedule with the other members of the family, you all have the opportunity to communicate about your personal needs and to make sure that everyone has input in what happens day to day with the family.

Support: Believe it or not family is supposed to be where you feel the most supported, loved and cared for.  If this isn’t the case, you and the other members of the family have a lot of work to do!  It’s essential to create a supportive, nurturing, loving, caring environment for your kids to grow up in and a safe, open, intimate, growing relationship with your partner.  If you all aren’t working together to support each other, it will be next to impossible to create a mentally healthy environment that supports your happiness, satisfaction and ability to do great things in the world.

Specific: Yes, you must be specific.  Tell your partner what you want, tell your kids how much you love them, ask your kids to do specific tasks or not to do specific things, and be specific when you need those 10 minutes of you time so you don’t have a breakdown.  Encourage your kids to be specific with you and tell you what they need from you, what makes them feel healthy and learn what you can do specifically to be a better mom or dad.  The same goes for your partner, ask them what you can do to specifically grow your relationship, and support them, and make sure to listen and take action based on what they say.

This weekend set aside time to begin the conversation about how you can all help each other feel stronger and be healthier mentally. If you’ve already discussed being supportive, what is one thing you know you should be doing for your family but aren’t? Try doing that this weekend and see what a difference it makes.

Organizing for Mental Health

How are you feeling today?  Stressed?  May is Mental Health Month, and as a home organizer I love helping people relieve some of the pressure that they feel because they’re stressed or depressed by their environment. Let’s talk about some things that you can do to relieve some of the stress in your life by getting organized.

Keep it simple: It’s easy to keep gathering things, letting cleaning or organizing slide and doing things in the way that you’ve always done them.  But the truth is that the more simple things are for you, the easier it will be to keep up.  I don’t mean that you have to give up stuff or stop doing stuff and live in a little cabin in the woods, what I mean is that if you’re still spending all day on Twitter for business, look for recipes each day for dinner, and have things stored in impractical and wasteful places, you definitely need to make things simpler and easier for yourself.  If you haven’t taken the time to simplify your life, I encourage you to set aside some time this week and make a list of things you want to be simpler in your life, and then start on them one by one.

Make a schedule:  Everyone talks about wanting to be free and having the time to do all these amazing things that they never have time for.  Do you know why they don’t have time?  Because they haven’t scheduled their time well.  They haven’t planned the necessary chores, activities, relationship building time, work/career and rest into their life.  By taking the time to plan your day, your week and your month, you’ll not only save yourself a lot of headaches, but you’ll also be able to schedule in time for your partner, kids, clients, and yourself.  I haven’t found a perfect scheduler, calendar or program that does all I want it to, so I write my schedule in 2 different ways-a daily/weekly schedule, and a monthly one.  And yes, I do write it by hand.

Get support: The only way that you’ll be able to get organized and be mentally strong is if you have help.  You can’t do it alone, you’ve got to communicate your schedule with your partner, coworkers, boss, friends and kids.  You also may want to hire someone to clean your house, go grocery shopping or do some of the simpler tasks in your business that don’t need your personal attention.  Also, don’t be afraid to get some help from an organizer, counselor or coach to get you started on mental and physical organization and health.

What will you do this week to have a simpler, planned, supported life?  If it’s just one action, what will that action be?

What’s Your Difference?

What do you spend your free time thinking about?  Lately I’ve been thinking about how I contribute to the world, what the impact of my life is on the future.

Have a plan to daily contribute at least once.  You can do this by putting $1 in the hand of a homeless person. You can hold the door for someone. You can share a good idea for free with someone online.  You can pick up a piece of trash so it goes in the garbage not an animal or hurts the earth.

Have a plan to monthly contribute in a bigger way.  Donate time or money to an organization that helps others.  Have a monthly newsletter with free inspiration and tips you send out to encourage others.  Offer to help your elderly neighbor with something.  Spend time with those you love and are important to you.

Have a yearly plan to contribute.  Sponsor a child, organization or support them with your time.

Have a life plan to contribute.  What are you doing as a person?  What will you be remembered for after you die?  Will you even be remembered?  Will what you’ve done in life matter?  I encourage you to make sure that you do have a positive impact on the world, whether it’s by sharing the message of someone else, contributing to the future of someone or making the world a better place through your own inspiration or innovation.

These thoughts are part of one of my Path Plan Track courses, “10 Daily Habits”.   Click here and scroll down about 2/3 of the page to learn more about my “10 Daily Habits” course and other courses and programs I offer.

Share your thoughts on contribution below!

What’s Inside Your Head?

How stressed are you?  If you’re a parent, have a job, are in a relationship or are alive today, chances are you have some stress in your life.  May is Mental Health month in America.  It is really important to not only have discussions to remove negative stereotypes around some of the mental health challenges that people have, but also to do all you can to support your mental and emotional health.

Let’s start with our eyes.  This is one of the two main ways that you can help to improve your mental state.  Don’t watch the news, period.  Limit your TV watching to a few hours per day (preferably 1-2).  Also limit your newspaper and online reading to as little negative or depressing stuff as possible.   We’re in a culture where we’re surrounded by bad news and sad stories.  If enough people stop watching certain programs the TV stations will have to rethink what they’re offering to their viewers.  So when you’re not watching the news and TV, start reading the good news, books that will educate you and uplift your spirit.  (Same goes for the kids!)

Second, our ears.  This is a more difficult because you can’t just turn off the coworker who always complains that the sky is falling.  What you can do is be proactive with your words.  When you’re hearing something you don’t like, ask to change the subject or turn the discussion from a complaining session to a discovery session coming up with options on how to fix or remedy the complaints.  The same goes for friends and family who always point out the tough stuff.  Limit your exposure to things that aren’t good for your ears.

Finally, support your mind.  First, put good stuff in.  That means the food and things you read and hear, should be carefully selected.  Do your body and mind a favor by feeding it with good stuff.  Second, give it support.  Get enough sleep at night, exercise weekly, and don’t have bad habits like smoking or drugs.

Get connected with Mental Health America, National Institute of Mental Health, and WebMD to learn more.  There are also thousands of groups online (check out Facebook for some), and in your local area who you can connect with and get support on a more personal level.

Don’t let mental health get bypassed in your life.  Do all you can to support the brain that helps you function.

Your Choice of Power

“Minds are like parachutes- they function only when they are open.”  Thomas Dewar

This month we’re talking about empowerment.  There are a lot of people who have chosen to put their parachutes in bags and hide them, or let people walk all over them rendering them useless.  Dewar is right.  We all have a choice.  Do you open up your parachute and float through life, or do you free fall past opportunities until you’re at the end of your life?  This month I encourage you to take little steps to gather your power back and to make sure you’ve always got your parachute open for both your mind and life’s sakes.

To open your mind means to think for yourself.  It means not accepting as fact everything you hear.  It means listening carefully to what someone is saying and creating your own opinions about it.  It means being honest with yourself and with others about yourself, and about how you feel.

Opening your life means to act for yourself.  It means standing up for yourself and saying “no” when you need a break or don’t agree with something.  It means not taking a job just so you have money.  It means caring for the earth throughout your day, not just when it’s convenient for you.

This month we’ll be talking about some different things you can do to empower yourself and help you live an empowered life.  First though, you have a choice: will you choose to live an empowered, open life?  What do you think?  Are you ready to not be walked on anymore, to make your own decisions, to live the life you were meant to live, to be with the people you feel safe with and make healthy choices?

What one step will you take today to regain your power and open up your parachute?  Share your step below.