Monday, May 25, 2009
“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and the best you have to give.” –Eleanor Roosevelt There are things in our life we sometimes cannot control and these uncontrollable elements in our day to day life often cause interference in our happiness. However, when you begin to understand the difference between things you can control and things you can’t, you can let them go and not let them steal your joy. There is a Lucinda Williams song where she sings “you took my joy and I want it back…” and she goes to different places to find her joy, and I love that song, but the thing is, no one can steal your joy unless you allow it. I sometimes feel my happiness dwindling when faced with difficult circumstances, but I have learned to think long and hard about what I can do to fix the situation and when I finally realize this is something I cannot control, I let it go. Yes, it is hard, but if there is nothing I can do to make it better, being upset, sad or angry will not make the situation better. On the other hand, if I look at a situation and realize I CAN do something to fix this, then setting forth a plan of action is imperative. I wanted to share the Eleanor Roosevelt quote with you this week in regards to the control in your lives because once you understand the difference in your ability to control or the need to let go, no matter which it is, meeting anything that occurs in your life with courage and always giving your best will help you on your path to happiness. This week, spend some time writing about the issues in your life that upset you, and then gauge whether you have any control over the issue. If there is nothing you can do, let it go. Think also about issues you can control and keep in mind, often times the things you can control but choose to put off or ignore, weigh on you heavier than the issues that are out of your control. If this is the case with you, go back and read the entries on goal setting and get some of those issues off your plate! We all want certainty in our life, and controlling everything sometimes makes us feel more secure, but unfortunately sets you up for disappointment and possibly anger when the non-controllable comes along. I encourage you to let go! Choose Happiness!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
"There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it." -Napoleon Hill Moving forward in your life will require that you set goals for what you would like to see happen in your future. In last weeks blog I talked about the importance of setting goals and decided I should expand that discussion this week into some concrete methods of goal setting. First, I believe you must decide what you see as your purpose in life. Your goals then are built around how you envision yourself fulfilling that purpose. I have spent most of my working life in the field of education and believe my greatest purpose in life is to assist others in learning and growing! My goals tend to center always on this purpose. Even though I am no longer formally teaching in a classroom, I still see my purpose as the same, but I am expanding into other fields of fulfilling my purpose and my goals correspond to this change. What is your purpose in life? Are your goals centered on what you believe is your purpose? If you are unclear on your purpose, take some time to investigate your strengths and weaknesses. Evaluate where you feel you have been successful in life and how you might build on your success. Also, think about what you enjoy most in life. All of these elements will give you some insight as to where your purpose lies. Once you have defined your purpose you will discover that setting goals is much easier and more fulfilling as they are driven by what you see as important! Each day set a goal which leads towards your longer term goals. When I began blogging again, I wanted to assure myself and my readers that I would be diligent in scheduling time for the blog. I set my goal to write my blogs on Friday so I could reread over the weekend and post on Monday mornings. My daily goal then is to seek the subject for the week and write notes on the topic so that come Friday, I am ready to write! I have barely scratched the surface in the how and why of goal setting, but I hopefully have inspired you to consider the importance and the necessity of writing down your goals. I encourage you to read more on this subject and seriously begin to take stock of your purpose and how you can achieve all you desire. Again, I suggest Brian Tracy’s book, Goals! How to Get Everything You Want-Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible. Take time this week in your journal to begin exploring your purpose in life. Define this for yourself and write your goals! Another step which will lead you to Choose Happiness!
Monday, May 11, 2009
You can’t just muck around in your life;
you better take off the waders, put on the diving gear and get going! I have been working diligently on writing down my goals, not just long term goals, but daily as well. My first goal is to choose happiness today. I write this in my journal to impact my brain with the importance of the message. I have discovered too, writing goals increases my happiness in all areas of my life because I feel focused and I have a vision, not only just for today, but for everyday. However, writing daily goals is not about writing a to do list, though one goal might be to accomplish so many tasks today from your to do list. Writing daily goals is about the tasks or activities which will bring you happiness. What does goal setting have to do with happiness? Plenty! People who set goals for themselves express a higher degree of satisfaction and obtain a greater level of success in life, and those who actually write down there goals do even better because the action of writing them down and having your goal set concretely in front of you will help you visualize the goal and make it real. A study conducted with Harvard students over a ten year period showed that the 3% of the graduating class that had not only defined their goals but written them down, ten years later were earning ten times more than their fellow classmates. If you want to be happy each and every day of your life, then it only makes sense that having goals and striving towards them will help you in choosing happiness everyday. How then do you set goals? You have to take time to really consider what you feel is important, what you want to achieve in life and how you are going to achieve it. Then you have to step by step work towards each goal. I have known most of my life I wanted to be a writer, but had never set any goals towards this dream. I have written sporadically over the years, but did not set a specific goal until I conceived of the idea for Choosing Happiness after Divorce. When I first began writing, however, I didn’t realize how important goal setting could be to me. I had days when I would write for awhile and days when I wouldn’t. I only made progress when I finally set a goal of 1000 words per day and required myself to sit at the computer until I achieved this goal. At this point, I began to make progress and I loved the feeling of accomplishment at the end of my writing session. Since then, I have been writing goals and daily working to achieve them and now I am achieving my dream of being a published author. I continue to learn more and more about goal setting. Brian Tracy’s book, Goals! How to Get Everything You Want-Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible, is a great source for learning how to set goals. If you are not setting goals, I encourage you to begin this discipline. Thinking about what you want from you life and then taking the time to write the goals necessary to achieve what you want is worth all the effort required. Take time in your journal this week to seriously think about your goals and get going! Choose Happiness!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without necessarily accepting it.” -Aristotle Aristotle understood an educated mind cannot be closed off to new ideas, new people or a new way of doing something. Tolerance prevents our becoming stagnant in our thinking, brings innovation to our world and allows us to all appreciate others for their differences even if we do not have the same belief systems. Tolerance towards the ex may seem impossible, but is necessary for the emotional health of your children. No matter how you feel about him or her, choosing to show your children your ability to tolerate each other’s differences is important. Consider this: if you cannot tolerate the other single most important person in your child’s life, how then can your child learn to accept others and eventually form their own relationships with a partner or spouse? No one is perfect and if the other parent is ridiculed and shown disrespect by you in front of the children, this behavior will become the model of partnership your child will more than likely eventually have with his or her spouse. Yes, you are divorced and your children know this, but they will still conceptualize relationships based on those modeled for them. Intolerance results in your children making enemies of others in their life as they see this as okay. It limits their intelligence by closing them off to all the possibilities that exist for them in life and discourages the search for knowledge. Intolerance discourages creativity, as creativity requires exploration of new and different ideas. Intolerance limits the ability to self discipline because your child will see others as being the only ones at fault, keeping her from accepting responsibility for her own actions. And in going back to the Aristotle quote, intolerance prohibits the ability to think for oneself with accuracy and reasoning because when intolerant, you cannot entertain a new thought, things are as they always have been and always will be, so do not question, do not think and certainly do not show respect for others. All of this holds true for you as well. I encourage you to teach your children tolerance starting with their other parent if this has been a problem for you. Likewise, I hope you will teach them tolerance in all areas of their life, giving them the means to think for themselves, but likewise to speak up for themselves and others. Tolerance is a means of showing respect for others opinions, beliefs or actions and a means of eliminating hate from our world. Choose to be tolerant of others; choose happiness!