Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What Is Your WHY?

I caught a movie the other day. I hadn't heard of it before. It was probably not a big box office hit. But, it had several of my favorite actors starring in it, several of them being Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Kiera Knightly and Helen Mirren among others. The title of the movie was “Collateral Beauty.” The title didn't attract me. What caught my attention was in the opening sequence when Will Smith, playing the role of a successful advertising executive, asked one of life's Big Questions of his employees,

“What is your WHY?”

This, on the surface, may seem like a pretty simplistic and, perhaps, benign question. Some might see it as superficial. You may have read this question in some self-help book. Maybe you've had this question posed by a “motivational speaker” in a crowd of maybe tens, hundreds or thousands of people gathered to gain the “the Secret” of becoming a raging success story. Maybe a preacher, priest, rabbi or other religious leader proffered this question. And, if you were really, really lucky, maybe you had a teacher in an elementary, secondary or college class pose the question (but, they probably never followed through with how to discover your Why).

It's very easy to skim over the answers. Most everyone has an immediate pat answer to this question and the many tangential questions that spring forth from it. Such questions as:

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Are You An Addict?

That's a loaded question and I'm sure many readers immediately reacted with a resounding NO! I'm not an addict. Well, I beg to differ. I'm going to suggest you're a rare person if you're not an addict.

Okay, let me clarify this a bit. I certainly hope you're not an alcoholic or drug junkie (either prescription or recreational drugs) or pornography. I also hope you're not addicted to gambling, sex, food and binge eating, smoking, binge shopping, life threatening adrenaline rushes, work (for an employer or, especially your own business) and similar. Alcohol and drugs, just plain BAD. Pornography is a controversial issue. The others, in moderation and as appropriate, meaning it doesn't jeopardize your family, financial security, home, physical being and so on, but you do some of these occasionally when it's reasonable and safe are probably okay.

Now, here is what I'm really talking about. Are you addicted to:

Netflix Binge Watching
Amazon Prime Binge Watching
Hulu Binge Watching
Mindless Reality Shows

You can add to this list as necessary for you personally.

Now, please don't kid your self or insult my intelligence by saying no to all of these. The reality is, that virtually everyone is addicted to at least one of these things and most likely more than one. And, worse yet, you may not even realize it. Most addicts, as I'm sure you're aware, are in denial. Some never accept their addictions and may suffer serious negative consequences many times as extreme as loss of family, financial ruin and even death. “Gees,” you say, “he's really serious about this isn't he?”

Yes! I am! This subject has been banging around in my head lately. What triggered this article was a blog post the other morning by a voice-over colleague from Las Vegas, Nevada. Dave made me stop short and think about the thoughts I mentioned that were rolling around in my noggin. He included a couple links to some very revealing thoughts on this subject. One of them included a TED Talk link. I read them and watched the TED Talk with great interest. If any of this may be ringing a bell with you, then read on.

The Land That Was

Monday, July 24, 2017

Happiness – 15 Ways To Defeat Happiness

Wow! How's that for a headline – a negative approach to a positive state of being.

I know, I'm usually trying to give you points, tips and ideas to encourage you in your quest to live personally freer, happier and more joyful. Well, here is a reality, most of us, with few exceptions, are our own worst enemies and we don't know it.

What,” you say. “I'm working diligently on living a positive, productive and simple life. Doesn't this result in happiness and joyfulness?" Of course, like so many aspects of life, this can be paradoxical.

As you are likely aware, I read (and listen and watch) many blogs (and podcasts and YouTube vlogs) in my own constant search for ideas and answers to questions about life. Of course I have my own continual quest for personal development going on. No one has the perfect life and formula, but we all are in different places in our lifetime journey and agenda.

So, some time ago I discovered the blog of a young woman who has found her own unique path to financial security. Over a six or seven year period, she has developed a monthly income well in excess of $100,000.00. This year she's on target to generate, probably between 1.6 and 2 million dollars for her annual revenue. Not bad, huh? And she hasn't even reached 30 years of age, yet. She and her husband are debt free. They live on the road, full-time in a motor home and travel across the U.S. They have the kind of lifestyle many of us dream about, but still don't believe we can achieve and enjoy.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

What's It All About – Part Deux

To follow up on my last blog article “What's It All About,” I ran into this interesting video on Facebook about the education system in Finland. The U.S., the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world is being eroded from within. I believe a significant reason for this is our deteriorating educational system.

Allow me to preface my remarks by stating that 50 years ago (I just attended the 50th class reunion of my graduation from Montclair State College - now University), I earned a B.A. degree in education with my specialty being Industrial Arts. I also was awarded teacher certification, accepted in virtually every state in the U.S., for Kindergarten through 12th grade.

I was, myself, a product of the public education system. I skipped kindergarten, but completed grades 1 – 12 in the Clifton, New Jersey public school system. Even as a wet behind the ears, know it all, 22 year old graduate of the teaching curriculum of the (at that time) crown jewel of the New Jersey state colleges, all specializing in teacher education at that time, I saw real issues I knew were going to continue to deteriorate in the New Jersey (and U.S.) educational system. In my opinion, I was not wrong in my projections.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

What's It All About?

Remember the songs "What's It All About Alfie?" and "Is That All There Is?" In my humble opinion, based on my own life experiences, IT is about just FOUR simple things - personal freedom, love, happiness and peace.

So then, if a fulfilling life can be broken down to those four simple things, WHY DO WE ALL MAKE IT SO COMPLICATED? And, why do so many people live lives of quiet desperation, as Thoreau described it? Why do they leave this life unfulfilled, never realizing personal freedom, experiencing true love in its many forms, enjoying real happiness and joy and knowing the peace that all is well and they are safe and secure?

Why do they seek these things in bottles of alcohol, pills and junk they inject in their veins or snort up their noses? Why do they run to the shopping mall or go online to buy more stuff they don't really need, just to "feel better" for a moment's relief from the complexity and emotional/psychological pain of the life they've created by their own choices? Why don't they make some different choices and change their lives? I've been down some of these paths. Thankfully, not the alcohol or drug routes. But, only by the Grace of God, have I avoided those paths.

M. Scott Peck's first three words in his best-selling book, The Road Less Traveled, were, "Life is difficult." He goes on to elaborate, "This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know

Monday, July 3, 2017

A New Day

Here is a wonderful and inspirational piece. It really impacted me, so I reformatted it into something I could print and give to people. You are free to copy this and share it with others. No hocus-pokus to it. It's simply feeding your mind with positive input whenever you look at it. I have this set up so it's printable on parchment paper stock suitable for framing.

It's great to give anyone, but especially those facing serious challenges in their life – like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, etc. so, share it with others.

Monday, May 22, 2017

It's Been Too Long - Thanks For Your Patience!

Wow! Where does the time go? It's been just over two months since my last post on the blog. It was titled, “Life On The Road. . .Living in 50 Square Feet - Part I,” you can click on the title and read (or reread) it if you haven't already read it.

Obviously, I was starting a new series of articles on life on the road, but it seems life on the road got in the way of writing about life on the road. My regrets for not keeping up with one of the passions of my life, writing about personal freedom, happiness and choosing simple, minimal and frugal lifestyles to enjoy a happy life.

Yes! I'll admit it, while the appearance of my nomadic lifestyle is one of simplicity, minimalism and frugality, sometimes life just gets complicated. We, of course, live in a very complicated world and society. Once upon a time, sans rapidly advancing technology, a society based on high-speed progress, the constant bombardment of material/consumerism messages (upwards of 5,000 such messages per day according to current studies), the constant need for higher levels of status and keeping up with the Jones's,and the loss (in my opinion) of a value system based on people and relationships, we were very different. I believe we have lost a significant part of our humanity over my adult lifetime.