Tag Archives: happiness

It’s Now Or Never

DogMeditation

“Wake up! If you knew for certain you had a terminal illness–if you had little time left to live–you would waste precious little of it! Well, I’m telling you…you do have a terminal illness: It’s called birth. You don’t have more than a few years left. No one does! So be happy now, without reason–or you will never be at all.”

Dan Millman

This quote sends a very powerful message. One that not many people think about it. Whether you like it or not, you are, in fact, dying. The process began the second you were born. I can tell you that in my twenties, thirties and even into my forties, I was so wrapped up in the intricacies of every day life that I never gave death a thought. Now that I have ventured into my fifties, I have come to the realization that I have much less time on the earth than I have spent on it.

This is an odd feeling. I find myself thinking about my mortality and how it has laid claim to how it plays a role in the decisions that I make every day. My priorities on what it means to be happy, and how I can get to that level of happiness have evolved and is now paramount in my life. It also continues to be an ongoing exploration of seeing that being happy is much easier than we think it is.

I’m not talking about gaining material goods to see if I can make myself happy, it’s more of a choice of how I interact with everyone around me. These personal interactions are what I consider to be true measures of happiness.

Being happy is a choice made by every person every day and should last until our last day.

Happiness Is A Life Choice, Not A Resolution

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” 
―Abraham Lincoln

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” 
―Dalai Lama

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” 
―Albert Camus

Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions. Whether they want to lose weight, save more money or use less social media, resolutions are made and then usually broken shortly after they are made.

With that said, and this isn’t a resolution, but rather a goal or an outlook on life is just to be happy. Now I know that sounds strange, but as I was reading through another blog-“Los Angeles In The Wild,” (https://inthewildla.wordpress.com) and Julie (the author), says the following, “I believe happiness supersedes everything. For every decision, I always make sure my happiness could weigh on my decisions. All year, people have questioned and challenged me that happiness simply can’t be my root motivator — it can’t be everything. Happiness can’t pay the bills and that’s true. All year I confronted these challenges and as I am about to compromise my happiness for “something better”, I come back  to find out happiness is the only driver, my only engine life in my life.” 

These are truly words of wisdom!

When I have heard people say things like this in the past, I used to think that in order to have this type of mindset you had to be pretty selfish. As I have thought about it more, and seen the results of that type of thinking, I am now a true believer in making life choices that contribute to my happiness. In my view, to spend time making sure that every other person around me is happy (work or at home) at the expense of my own well being is not productive. Of course you have to do things that will make your life easier in a professional sense by making your boss happy, but in the end, you need to be happy. The same goes for your family.

So Julie mentions these mantras. Not resolutions, mind you. You don’t have to come out and say, “My New Year’s resolution is be happy (or happier).” These are just simple tips to put you in, and keep you in the proper frame of mind to be happy. I found them to be very helpful in developing a road map to being happy and staying sane!

Here are the mantras that Julie lists in the following post-

https://inthewildla.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/motivation-monday-happiness-wins/

  • Be happy. Be bright. Be you.
  • Always look on the bright side of life.
  • Do more of what makes you happy.
  • Find joy in the journey.
  • I am charge in choosing how I feel and I choose happiness.
  • Happiness can exist only in acceptance.
  • If you want to be happy, be

These are words to live by, not make resolutions with!

Happy Hiking!!!

What Is Your Purpose?

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” 
-Gautamma Buddha

I’ve been doing a great deal of reading lately on how having a purpose in life and how this contributes to our happiness, and in turn, to our longevity.  Having a profession where you actually feel as though you are making a contribution to society as a whole is a clear example of having a purpose. This can be well defined through just about any profession. If you are committed to what you do and have a passion for it, this will ultimately contribute to your happiness.

As teachers we know what our purpose is, and since we have chosen teaching as a profession, gone through years of schooling and have made a conscious decision that instead of enjoying early financial gain as you might see in other professions, we would instead be rewarded with nurturing the intellectual growth of our students.

I think that it would be safe to say that we all enter education because we have the desire to impart our knowledge and love of our subject matter to the kids in the communities where we teach. To not only see the intellectual growth in the year that we may have them, but also as they make their way through our colleagues classes as well. The point is that they will see our passion and maybe, just maybe, they will take with them when they leave a life long love for learning.

On the island of Okinawa, Japan, they refer to this as “ikigai”, or a reason for getting up in the morning. This reason, or purpose is what keeps us centered.

But what happens when external, or for that matter, internal factors enter into the equation and stifle the sense of purpose that we have? What happens when a profession such as teaching becomes “just another job”? I don’t know many teachers who have chosen the profession for the paycheck, and the ever present myth of having all of the time off is well, still a myth.

Where am I going with this? Recent events have shown me that although we may have a very clear sense of purpose, from time to time our resolve is tested and when a situation may set up roadblocks that cloud our purpose, or to question it, then it is up to no one but ourselves to balance things out and keep moving on a forward and productive path. Most times it isn’t our love for teaching, or our passion for what we do that comes into question, instead it is those other factors that prove to contribute to our downfall and for us to lose our focus.

So what do we need to do to regain or maintain the balance? The external factors in our life are sometimes easier to correct than those that are internal. Often times internally we do not have any say in decisions that are made that “mess with our mojo.” But we still have to keep moving.

I have some thoughts. One thing that has proven to be incredibly helpful to me is to have other things that you are equally as  passionate about and that you can share with others. If you are reading this, then you are well versed on my love for hiking and in turn, my blogging about it. You might also know about my love of building things, not so professionally, but a love none the less. These two things truly keep me grounded so I am not consumed with the daily drama associated with work.

Second, having a core group of colleagues that you can depend on is vital. Now I don’t necessarily mean people that we can just blindly bitch to one another about what we don’t like, but people who will listen and offer constructive advice and support as we meander through our daily work lives. Think about it-We sometimes spend more time interacting with our colleagues every day than we do our husbands, wives and significant others.

Teachers have a unique sense of community that in my humble opinion, can’t be matched by many other professions. We are not driven by money or other material factors, but instead the passing off to others a love of teaching and our specific subject areas. Think about the teachers that you loved the most. Why did you love them? What did they do in the classroom to convey their love for what they do?

Don’t get to a point where you don’t know why you get up in the morning.

 

 

A Couple of Quotes You Can Live By

It’s taken a long time but I am learning later in life that how you react to people and situations comes back to you and no one else. I know that sounds simple, but being pissed off was a way of life for me for a long time. I can see now that blaming others for the stress that I felt was stress that I chose to experience.

Clear your mind and accept responsibility for your actions and circumstances and you will find yourself a much happier person.

I found the following quotes as I was meandering through the web and thought that I would share them. Peace to all of you!!!

“Remember, most of your stress comes from the way you respond, not the way your life is. Adjust your attitude, and all that extra stress is gone.”

-Unknown

“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.”

-Dan Millman