What is your last memory of being really happy? Joyful? Laughing until your stomach hurt?
My guess is it had nothing to do with possessions.
It may have been a family celebration. A graduation. A healthy diagnosis. Some good news after an accident. Watching your loved one shine.
If we are waiting to be happy until we pay off the house or meet the right person or get a better job or lose ten pounds, we will be waiting for a very long time.
As novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
The happiness has always been with us. It’s there in the darkness and sadness and mundane days. It’s there when everything is crumbling down around us. We just have to switch our perspective and look through a gratitude lens. Remember what we do have. Cherish all that we should be thankful for.
Mythologist Joseph Campbell said, “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
The life that is waiting for us is the one that will make us happy. If we let it. The only person who can let that happiness in is the one looking back from the mirror.
The thing about art is it reminds you who you are. The reason you laugh or cry or think is because it stirs something inside you that you recognize. And it pulls a reaction from you. Continue reading
Last week we moved for the fourth time in four years. I must admit, I was in denial the last few weeks before the big day. The schedule was full of appointments and events and dance competitions. The packing and purging loomed before me. Our elementary school was having a book bonanza so I ended up donating about 12 bags of books to the cause. It looked like I had robbed a library.
Three days before the move, just before dinner, my cell phone rang. It was my 13-year-old son’s friend saying, “Your son has been hit by a car on his bike. You should come!”
Every mother’s nightmare. I dropped what I was doing and ran. Thankfully after riding to the hospital by ambulance and getting all the tests done, he walked away with a few bruises. This reminded me that no matter where we lay our heads at night, the most important thing is being with the ones you love.
Author Tim Ferriss talks about something called fear setting instead of goal setting. A few times a year he makes a list of all the things he is scared of. Then he follows through with what would happen should that fear come true. He has even fasted or lived on oatmeal for a period of time to see if he could survive on very little. And of course he did. So then he wipes that fear off the list. And he can take action without worrying that he won’t survive the consequences.
Once the boxes were unpacked and the cupboards and shelves were full of books and plates and clothes after our move, I looked around and thought, “What was I so scared of?” As U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
So make the move, take the interview, meet the new person. Once you do it, you will realize you were being held back by the story in your head. And you can re-write that story any time you choose.
The Toronto Raptors played game two of the championships last night. It is the first time the team got to this level. They are playing against the Golden State Warriors who have won the championships five times. Three times in the last four years. Continue reading
I was just listening to entrepreneur Derek Sivers on the Tim Ferriss podcast. Derek is the former founder and CEO of CD Baby which is a very successful online store for independent musicians. Continue reading
In 1995, Canada got its first NBA team when the Toronto Raptors joined the mix. Their fans have always been behind them and they made the playoffs ten times over the years, but they never made it to the finals. Continue reading
I recently heard Will MacAskill on the Tim Ferriss podcast. In his early thirties, Will is likely the youngest associate professor in the world and teaches Philosophy at Oxford. He co-founded a non-profit called 80,000 Hours which helps people figure out how to make the most impact with their career. He is all about effective altruism and donating money to charities that make the most difference. He donates anything he makes above $36,000 to various causes. Continue reading
I was speaking with a music teacher who I met last week and she told me an incredible story. She’s been teaching a certain instrument to children for decades. A few years back, two different seven-year-olds started lessons around the same time. One of them was gifted. She picked up everything immediately. She had the rhythm, grasped the melodies and never had to practice. The other one was the most challenged student she had ever seen. She couldn’t pick up the songs, she had no rhythm, and she struggled to play. But she practiced every day and she loved coming to class to learn more. Numerous times over the years the teacher thought of mentioning to her parents that maybe this instrument wasn’t for her. Maybe she should try something else. But she always held back as the girl seemed to enjoy the process so much. Continue reading
I was listening to philosopher and author Alain de Botton on the Tim Ferriss podcast and I am so drawn in to what he was saying. He was talking about democratizing philosophy so that everyone realizes how helpful it is to ask questions about what makes us happy, what we want to do every day, and how love fits into our lives. Philosophy is not just meant for universities and theoretical thinkers. It’s meant for all of us. Continue reading
I saw a tweet from Jay Shetty this week that said, “What will people think and say? This thought has killed more dreams than anything else in the world.”
When will we embrace the fact that what other people think of us is none of our business?
None of our business. Continue reading