We all have dreams big and small. Some dreams are easily attainable, some not so much. I want to visit the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. This is something possibly I will do this summer.
But, then there are dreams which are little out of reach, but with some effort and planning I know I can achieve them. For example I want to visit Brazil. I would like to go to Manaus and visit the Amazon Rainforest, spend a few days in Rio De Janeiro, go hang gliding, hang out at Ipanema beach. Spend a few days in Pantanal. See Iguassu falls, before crossing into Argentina.
I have been dreaming about this vacation for a few years now, but for various reasons it has been eluding me. Meanwhile, when the urge strikes I do something which gives me a little taste of Brazil. Sometimes I watch a movie set in Brazil, or visit the local churrascaria and sample the Brazilian cuisine. When that is not possible I just spend some time on internet reading about other travelers experiences in Brazil, which helps me live it before actually living it.
This strategy helps me keep my dream alive, and keeping the excitement going. This can be applied to any dream which is out of reach right now but you don’t want to let it go. In hustle bustle of our daily lives we tend to put our dreams on back burner. Living them on a smaller scale helps me keep the right framework of mind to achieve my dreams. May be you want to own a fancy luxury car but have to wait for that to happen. You can rent one for a weekend and have the joy and the real life experience of driving your dream car. It certainly works in your favor, especially, if you like to visualize your dreams, because it is so much easier to visualize something that you have already experienced.
A friend of mine loves to travel, but cannot do it as often as she would like, because she has school age children. Every couple of months she and her family drives a few hours to visit some place where they have never been before. They eat at local restaurants, check in a hotel for a night or two and drive back home after exploring the new place a little bit, or catching a local event. She says that gives her a sense of adventure and the same feeling she gets when visiting a far away locale. That is a great way of pleasing the explorer in you.
Is there a dream that is out of reach for you right now? Is there a way you can live it on a smaller scale while you get there?
Every day I go for a walk on the trail near my house. The round trip walk is about three miles. As I started walking yesterday about a mile down the road a small pebble got in my shoe. At first it didn’t bother me much, but as I walked further down it became more noticeable.
I just decided to ignore it, thinking to myself I am already half way through. I kept walking. But after some time the feeling of that pebble in my shoe became very bothersome. I started looking if there was something around, like a rock or a tree trunk where I can sit down and take my shoe off to get the pebble out. I could not find anything, I continued to walk.
Finally I came to a point where I could not take it anymore . I just leaned against a tree, took my shoe off and got the pebble out. I could not believe how tiny it was. I put the shoe on and continued walking; suddenly I realized I had walked past my favorite part of the trail, where there is a pond with water lilies, and birds. Normally I just slow down there and take in the view, listen to the birds call. On this particular day a small nuisance had taken over my mind so much that I did not notice the beauty of the surroundings.
It made me think, why didn’t I just stop and take action when I first felt that pebble in my shoe? Why did I wait till the pain became unbearable?
Don’t we sometimes go through our life with situations that are uncomfortable, hoping that it will be ok, and not take any action? We wait for the situation to really become unbearable, and in the bargain miss some beautiful moments in our life. Then finally we take action and wonder why I didn’t do this sooner.
So, why wait?
Do you have a pebble in your shoe? It may be a relationship that is not working or it can be your own habit which you know you need to get rid of. Don’t wait for the pain to become unbearable. Take action now, and enjoy your life!
So often I hear people say “time flies”. They say is it Christmas already? Feels as if we just had a New Year’s party! Some people say it feels so, because when we are having fun time flies. But I do not agree, we feel as if time flies not because we are having a lot of fun, but because we are living on autopilot.
Most people spend a majority of their time “zoned out”. They go through their day while being in some kind of mental fog, and if they do think, it is about anything but about what they are currently doing.
They get up in the morning, get ready, go to work, drive home, have dinner, watch TV and go to bed. The next day same cycle repeats. They think about work when at home, and think about other things that need to be done, or some other personal matter while at work. While driving they may be thinking about bills that need to be paid, watch TV while eating.
How many times do you really focus and are truly present when you do something? How much do you really focus on task at hand, and savor the moment however ordinary it is?
Life is too precious to be spent living in a haze, without being present. Savor each and every moment, experience it to the fullest!
Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift that’s why it is called the present. – Bil Keane
Forgive others and yourself, for anything that happened in the past. Holding grudges against others just robs you of happiness. You cannot hold a grudge against someone and be happy at the same time. By holding grudge against someone you are giving them power over you. The person not only hurt you at one time, but continues to do so. When the incident actually happened may be you had no control over it but now certainly you do have control in not letting them hurt you.
Sometimes it is even harder for us to forgive ourselves, for something that we did or did not do. The question to ask here is how is it helping me? Whatever happened cannot be changed but what we can change is how we behave now and what we do now. So, let go of whatever grudges or bad feelings that you have towards others or yourself.
Happiness is within us, we need not search for happiness outside. Nothing or no one can make us happy. We cannot control the outside world, or others’ actions but we can most certainly control our reaction to it and control how we decide to feel about it.
Do you have a friend who always corrects you, points out your mistakes, “for your good” or because he or she “cares about you”? You worry what your next “mistake” is going to be. Being in company of such people drains our energy and makes us unhappy. Surround yourself with positive, happy people who share your values, around whom you feel comfortable and at ease. These people create an environment of trust and happiness. Give genuine compliments to others, praise any good actions, and be open to be on the receiving end of compliments and praise. Next time when your coworker compliments you for your pretty blouse, smile and say thank you. Don’t say something like “I know, but it makes me look fat”
We often tend to focus on negative situations more than positive ones. We brood on negative events, and ignore things that just go smoothly.
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. Irrespective of current situation everyone definitely has a lot of things to be grateful for. You can look at your glass as half empty or half full, it’s all about the attitude.
People with children sometimes take their children for granted, but ask a person who cannot have children and you will know how fortunate you are…..have you ever heard the quote ”I complained that I did not have shoes, till I saw a man who had no feet”
Find things to be grateful for, that perfect cup of coffee in the morning, a beautiful sunny day, people in your life and experiences they bring you, which help you learn and grow. You can always find things to be grateful for. Being grateful, being appreciative of what you have makes you feel happier.
This one ritual has been helping me a lot. When I retire to bed at night, I go over everything that I am grateful for, the people in my life, material things that I have and my experiences. Next morning I wake up fully rested and feeling great. I am sure you will agree with me, it is way better than going to bed all stressed about what did not get done.
“NOW” is all we have, everything always happens in “NOW”. These indeed are beautiful moments……
Small, random acts of kindness bring us happiness that money cannot buy. It may mean letting a car merge ahead of you in traffic jam, holding the elevator door for the stranger who is trying to make a mad dash to the elevator. Let your co-worker save her face when you know she made a mistake.
Volunteer; help others, give your time, resources, and money, whatever you can share. These actions bring deep and long-lasting happiness.
If you are anything like an average person, then you are your worst critic. You criticize yourself for something that you did, did not do or did not do quite right. You criticize yourself more than anyone else has ever done. You constantly tell yourself, you are not pretty enough, good enough, smart enough. These types of constant thoughts in your mind sabotage your happiness. Imagine if your co-worker or best friend did that you day in and day out, would you put up with it? Then why don’t you do something about it? Yes, you can! You can control your thoughts by being vigilant about thoughts that pop in your mind. Just being aware of your thoughts gives you so much control. You can say to yourself “There you go, you have started criticizing again, and I don’t want to hear any of that so please STOP” Observing your thoughts can be very powerful exercise in getting over the thoughts which bring you pain and unhappiness and take you a step closer to being happy.
You might have heard this phrase countless number of times “live in the moment”, but what does live in the moment exactly mean? Most of our lives are spent either living in the past or the future. We regret, feel sorry, feel angry, about what we did or, the incidents that happened, something that someone did to us, said to us. We relive the unpleasant moments countless number of times. We worry about the future, the uncertainties. What we fail to understand is that this thinking does not do us any good. It just brings more pain and unhappiness. What is done is done and cannot be undone, so what is the benefit of torturing yourself with it? If your unhappiness is created by the thoughts, about some unfortunate future event that may occur, then take some action to remedy it. If there is nothing you can do about it now then decide to deal with it when the time comes. So, there is absolutely no reason for you to be unhappy right now
The goal is to share my thoughts on day to day matters relating to our lives, find simple solutions, spread happiness one person at a time!