Monday, April 30, 2018

An Attitude of Gratitude . . .


Have you ever taken a moment to do some reverse thinking? No! I don't mean negative thinking. I mean reverse thinking.

I read an interesting guest post in one of the many blogs I subscribe to and read semi-regularly (because I only have the same 24 hours in a day everyone has). The title of the post was "Imagine Life Without This." The author, Nataly Kogan, is an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, who fled with her family at 13 and lived in refugee camps with little food, comfort or any idea if they had a future. She is now, happily in the U.S. and has a new book coming out on May 1st titled "Happier Now: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones)."

She makes some excellent points, coming from her own experiences. If you read what most of us write about, somehow it always seems to be how tough our lives are, how deprived we are of certain things we know would make our lives better and happier and how we always seem to want more as soon as we achieve a goal or acquire something new that we want. As soon as the novelty or exhilaration passes, usually within a very short period of time, we want MORE or BETTER.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Who? Why? How?

Those were three questions that crossed my mind the other day as I was doing some reminiscing about my own life and, sort of, comparing my life to the lives of some of my family, friends and associates.

The three things that crossed my mind were:

Who am I?

Why am I who I am?

How did I get to be the person I've become?

Superficially, these don't necessarily seem like deep questions. But, when you begin peeling away the layers, we will each find some pretty interesting, probably amazing and, quite possibly, awesome things about ourselves. For most of us, it took a long time to get “here,” wherever here is for you. In many instances, probably the better part of a lifetime. Perhaps you were fortunate enough to start gleaning these answers when you were quite a bit younger than me and my contemporaries. Consider yourself ahead in the game of life.

If we are like most normal people, we begin forming who we will eventually become at a very early age during our childhood. As we grow, our minds expand. We learn more and more about people, history, the world around us, what people do for a living (occupation/profession), what they do for recreation, hobbies, past times and family life. And, of course, we learn more and more about responsibilities, accountability, ethics, morals and the social system we reside in including government, social and civil controls on our lives.

If we are born and raised in a developed, western nation we are told we live in a free society. That is, we are free to do anything we want to do and live any way we want to . . . providing it doesn't cross the lines of the laws, regulations, codes, statutes, rules, limitations, restrictions, etc. established for everyone to live by. That may not seem like such a big deal until you realize that no one actually knows how many federal laws there are today. Back in 1980, the federal laws filled 23,000 pages. Today, there are some 20,000 laws just on gun use and ownership (yet, the public wants more laws – are we enforcing the 20,000 already existing laws?). And, there are currently 4,450 federal crimes with new ones added every year. Here's a thought, how many of these federal criminal laws have you broken?

And, guess what? These don't include state, county, local, homeowners association, work related, school related, religion-related and other laws, codes, statutes, regulations, rules, etc. we are expected to abide by. Do you feel a bit overwhelmed?

So, let's look at the Who, Why and How questions regarding who we each are individually.

Who Are You?

Monday, January 1, 2018

What Will YOU Do With 2018?

So . . . It's January 1, 2018. As you may have guessed about my philosophy on New Years Resolutions, I don't believe in them.

But, here is a question for you, and I hope you'll take just a few moments and contribute your thoughts and ideas.

What ONE THING can you do this year to make this your best year ever? It doesn't have to be Earth shattering or world saving. I can be about yourself, your family/friends, it can be about your community or country or the world at large. It doesn't have to be complicated, time consuming or costly. I trust it will be POSITIVE. It's just ONE THING you can do to, by your own definition, make this the best year of your life, ever.

Here is an example from my world.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Regret #2

If you recall, in the last post on Regret #1, I told you about the article Richard Rosen sent me from Dr. Joseph Mercola's Health Newsletter. The title was "What You Can Learn From Other People's Regrets."

He gathered his information from a book titled, "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying," by Bronnie Ware, a former palliative care nurse who interviewed many dying patients during her career. And, remember I'm not approaching this topic from a negative perspective. I simply want to address the regrets as discussion points.

So, here is the #2 Regret people have:

"Working too much, thereby missing children’s youth and their partner’s companionship."

"Virtually every man in Ware’s care listed missing out on family time because of excessive work."

Life On A Treadmill

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Regrets! #1

When I woke up this morning, early, actually well before sunrise, I scanned my email, as I regularly do. I deleted those that held little interest this morning and then went back and opened those from friends or blogs I usually read or news feeds to scan the headlines. There I found an email from a friend and reader of this blog, Richard Rosen. He forwarded a link to a newsletter article, suggesting it was something I could have written.

Long story short, Richard was on the right trajectory. I've touched on some of the topics in some of my blog articles in the past. So, I thought I'd share some of the points made in the article with you with the hope of stimulating some open discussion. Remember, everyone has their own perspectives on these kinds of topics. There are no right or wrong ideas.

The title of the article was "What You Can Learn From Other People's Regrets." The author, one Dr. Joseph Mercola, who publishes the Mercola Health Newsletter. But, more specifically Dr. Mercola expounded on the regrets people have as they approach death. He gathered his information from a book titled, "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying," by Bronnie Ware, a former palliative care nurse who interviewed many dying patients during her career.

I'm not opening this up from a negative, we're all dying, approach. Rather, as a way to do something NOW to avoid these regrets when we reach our "user expiration date," someday.

So, here is the #1 Regret people have:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Living Free in an Unfree World


The title of this article sounds like a paradox. How can you live free if the world is unfree?

But, even before I address that idea, what do I mean by an unfree world? Don’t we live in a free country? Aren’t we free to do anything we want to? Doesn’t the U.S. Constitution (for those who are U.S. citizens or residents) guarantee our freedom? Even if you live in other developed countries claiming to be open and free societies, are you really free?

Here is a hard fact. If you live in any society with any kind of governance: democratic, parliamentary, republic, monarchy, dictatorship, socialistic, communistic, totalitarian or any other form of governance you can name . . . you are NOT free. As long as there is any kind of authority that prescribes laws, regulations, rules, restrictions, limitations, covenants, constraints or any other form of control over your thinking and/or actions that you must subscribe and adhere to, you are not free.

So, is it actually possible to be 100% free? From what I can tell, as long as you live on this planet and interact with other people and live within the borders of any area considered to be some form of jurisdiction under some organized, societal structure, I have to say no. It’s not possible to ever be 100% free.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Letter To Greg

This article is actually a letter (sent by email) to a very good and valued friend of mine of 50 years. I sent this letter to Greg earlier today. I realized as I was concluding the letter that it is really a Manifesto.

There is an old cliché that says there are three kinds of people in society.

#1 People who make things happen.
#2 People who watch things happen.
#3 People who wonder what happened.

That relates to what goes on in politics, religion and other forms of social interaction. I want to be part of group #1. I, unfortunately, often find myself as part of group #2. But, I strive my hardest to avoid at nearly all costs being part of group #3.

Lately, I've found myself losing sight of who I really am by being sucked in and reacting (knee-jerk reaction) to issues, events and ideological discussions I really can't do anything about and that really are not my problems. I find myself spending far too much of my priceless time writing to inform, educate or influence people who really don't want to be informed, educated or influenced. They simply