All posts by cwatsoniii1

My Last Sip

My last sip is not going to be an exhaustive treatise on the health effects of alcohol on the body, nor will it be a warning to any of those who like to partake in it, whether socially or to excess.  I am not writing this to judge, I least of all have the right to do so.  I am not here to offer my opinion, only my point of view to those who are ready and willing to listen. These are the facts, the ones I can remember through the haze of alcohol induced memory gaps of during and after my long relationship with “the drink”.

THE BEGINNING

Many of you may know from my blog, some time before I ever started writing, I served in the United States Navy for twenty years.  I joined at the young age of nineteen, right out of high school.  What you will not know is that contrary to popular belief and mental images of what sailors look like, with their ability to consume large amounts of alcohol and ornate tattoos, I didn’t have my first drink until I was twenty-two.  Even with the fact that my father, who also served in the military drank until I was around sixteen, didn’t have sway whether I would start drinking or not.  Through all the port visits and parties, I still refrained from indulging in it.  I never felt peer pressure to consume a glass here or there.  After working hours  were spent like any other,  barely out of my teens, young man in my position would be doing, I chased women.  And the best places to find women at that time was in bars and clubs.  As you know, put in the position with “bad apples”, no matter how fresh it tries to stay, it will eventually begin to spoil.  Not to say that people who drink ate bad, but trying not to drink in a situation where most everyone is, without having the self-control or fortitude, is bound to fail.

MY FIRST DRINK

My first drink was during a birthday party for one of my fellow sailors in a bar in Singapore, and if I remember correctly, it was a shot of rum.  Ever get the feeling that you are in a group of people who accept you and you don’t want to ruin the mood of the party?  That’s what happened that night.  At least twenty people were about to have a celebratory toast and there was me,  with a shot of rum in hand. That’s the first time I felt pressured to drink, and not wanting to be a wet blanket, I took the shot. It was the most terrible thing I had ever tasted, it was as if someone had mixed battery acid with the heat of the sun.  After that first horrible drink something strange happened, all those who knew I didn’t drink and saw me take my first shot, seemed to welcome me into some strange brotherhood with pats on my back and more shots.  I had suddenly become the “tourist” in the land of alcohol.  It seemed that every five to ten minutes someone was buying me another type of drink to try.  And as you may know, the more you drink the less the burning effect, and less the inhibitions.  Even the after affects of vomiting and hangover seemed to be a rite of passage and at the time, I have to admit, it was really fun.

THE TURN

I understand that, at least for me at the time, drinking was a way of connecting with friends, to socialize with strangers, and to alleviate the shyness. But in hindsight, I noticed there was a change from wanting to needing a drink.  It was a way to deal with the stress of work and life itself. Years later my wife and son are in the picture, I did my best not drink “that much” at home, but still finding a myriad of excuses to do so.

After a while my son and wife knew to stay away from after I had a few drinks, not that I was a violent drunk, but I would speak harshly to my wife and yell at my son for the most medial things.  I have to admit that I even stormed out of the house to go drink after and argument, or realize that I was down to my last beer only to drive intoxicated to the store for more.

There were also a few times where I either showed up to work drunk or had to leave early because I wasn’t “feeling good” due to a hangover. All this with the mindset that the world was against me and nothing was my fault, how else was I going to deal with this onslaught?

THE SIGNS

Don’t get me wrong, now that I think about it, there were plenty of warning signs along the way, but at the time my brain was too dulled with alcohol to be aware of my “spider senses” all the time.  For instance, I used to go to one of my favorite bars and drink.  It was that type of place where there was a pool table and a few televisions with a selection of sports events showing.  At first, I didn’t notice it, but after a many visits , I realized it was the same people, “the regulars”.  I am not judging, but for the experience they seem all one dimensional.  Granted, I didn’t know them away from the bar, but it seemed that there was no real ambition in their conversations.  You had the one guy with all the advice, the old woman trying to re-experience her younger self, and the one who hated everything and everyone but is lonely.  And there was me,  tittering on the precipice of anger, confusion, and lose.  There was a time where I though, “what’ the point?”, the only thing that kept me from throwing away everything including my life, was the thought of the life my son would have without me, either from taking my own life or causing someone else to loose theirs.

THE 3O DAY CHALLENGE

Yes, I believe not only by the strictest definition, I was an alcoholic but I was over weight.  Not saying I was morbidly obese, but going from the military regiment to daily drinking after retirement didn’t help at all.  I found myself sweating while just sitting and watching television, out of breath after short walks, and unable to get my wedding rind on and off my finger. Not to mention the custom suits I had made, now are custom fit to a body of a much smaller person.  The clothes aside, it wasn’t until I realized how much my health and family where suffering that the wakeup call of change could be heard.

One day while watching Youtube videos and drinking, which was my favorite past time, I saw a guy who lost weight while refraining from drinking for thirty days.  I needed to loose weight and I figured that this was the one thing that I have never tried.  So I started the challenge, I didn’t put too much faith into it, after all, I have been drink since I was twenty-two.

The first few days were rough, I had a routine of drinking around 12pm and passing out by 11pm that sane day.  I could feel the urge to drink, the ideas popping my head from drink to the store and pick up a six pack.  Going shopping with my wife and fining myself in the alcohol section.  It did get easier and one the biggest things I noticed was the amount of “extra time” I had throughout the day, time to catch up on things around the house, and most of all time with my family.  I was no longer so inebriated or hungover from the night before to enjoy time with them.  I didn’t read a riot act or a big announcement when I quit, i didn’t even tell my family.

Much better sleep is another factor that I didn’t realized was missing.  I would simply black out after drinking, but a night sleep with rest is wonderful. Waking up is also much easier, I simply get up when my body is no longer tired and I sleep through the night.

Along with the time and sleep improvement, the money that I have saved has been something new.  Of course I can’t say that it is enough to buy a car or anything, but I money left available that hasn’t been spent on drinking.  My family has been, without a doubt, very supportive, but I have lost a few “friends” in the process.  I realized that the people I was hanging out with, were only acquaintances due to the fact that the only thing we shared in common was drinking.  Apart from that, they we didn’t have any of the same interests, and I found some of them very annoying.

STARTING AGAIN

I started this blog to help and inspire people to make the changes they want in their lives. For me, drinking caused me to become clouded and lose focus. This paragraph was to be titled “Starting Over”, but I changed it due to the fact that, I am not starting from scratch. Life is full of detours and misdirection, but one of the best parts about it is that you never have to start completely over. It’s like having auto-saver on your life, if you mess up or go down and a road that led to nowhere, you can always reset and begin from where you left off.

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My Mediocrity

To those who have been following me through my blog, I apologize, to many of you who may be using my words as inspiration, thank for your patience.

My Goal

My plan when I stared writing over two years ago was to be a successful blogger, brining joy, motivation, and inspiration to my readers.  But unfortunately, like some successful people who started out, I fell into the trap of mediocrity. I started working at a car dealership, working for part salary and part commission.  I figured that this was the closest I could get to having my own business until my blogging took off.  I was doing pretty good at the dealership, there were some ups and downs, but for the most part, I was succeeding.  Unfortunately, for this line of work, the paychecks were not as steady as I would like them to be.  But salary was good enough to  pay the bills.  I settled into the swing of things and focused on selling cars instead of writing.  A few months went by when I started to notice I began to live the life I wanted to stay away from.  I got comfortable with my little paycheck, that was barely enough to pay the bills much less enough to pay down my debt that had accumulated.  I was stuck in the race that most people are in, working to pay the bills so I can live and keep working.  Don’t get me wrong, my goal of being a blogger is still in my mind, but I lost focus on my dreams.

Switch my focus

The life of working for someone else, asking permission to leave early for an emergency, begging for a day off because I need a break, but hoping they say no, because I need the money, is not the life I wanted to live.  I wish to travel the world, be who I was meant to be, and live life to the fullest.  I want to live life on my terms, far from fear and worry.

I started this blog, because I wanted to share my story in real time, in hopes that I can help those who may be going through similar circumstances, or who need a little inspiration.  Be inspired.

I Love You.

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Your Battle Cry

This is your battle cry. Depression, you are my enemy, sadness, you have no army to stand against me, because I am blessed and will see my dreams come true.  Lack, your voice carries no influence over my life, joy and prosperity are my allies and will see you defeated.  I will have whatsoever I desire, because I am a champion!  I have allowed myself to be pushed and trampled for far too long.  I refuse to allow my own mind to stand in defiance to me, I pursue my dreams because I choose to.  I now take what is mine, what has been promised to me by birth.  No longer will I let this world and my own negative, defeated thoughts dictate who I am to be.  I will no longer wait for life to give me what I want, I will not struggle for a substandard existence.  I will have everything that I have ever wanted for the pleasure of myself and those around me.  This is my battle cry, my declaration, this is my present and my future from this day forward.

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Thank You For Your Opinion

You are, at times, going to run into people who will ridicule what you are trying to do in life. Not just the fact that you are working towards something good for yourself, but the actual thing you are working on.

Recently I had an interesting conversation with a couple of individuals who visited my website. I like feedback on my website, in fact, I encourage it. It helps me grow as a person, an entrepreneur, and allows me to improve my site for my readers.

The first person said that an image on my website didn’t give him a feeling of peace and serenity, and that he would suggest changing it to represent Zen or some other peace inducing image. Although I understood what he was trying to say, my reply was to inform the individual that my website’s main purpose is to awaken and stir the positive feelings that sometimes lay dormant in us. I want people to know that they have a choice in how they feel, what they want out of life, and to go out there and do it.

I left a comment on how negative people will try to tear you down and then a second person ridiculed that comment. I was told that if I could not handle the heat, I should stay out of the kitchen.

Who Do You Think You Are?!

I will admit it, although I am working on myself all the time, I still get feelings of anger, frustration, and sadness. At that time I thought, how could this person come to my website, obviously not read it, and make a “suggestion” on something I have been working on so diligently? Then I thought about how difficult it would be to change the image, it took me awhile to figure out the programming to get the picture just right. I thought again, perhaps the message that I am trying to make isn’t clear, I would hate to have people misunderstand me . As you may see, I was very upset and even took a day off from working on my website to reflect.

And that’s when it hit me. I was trying to spread a message to the world that they have the power to do whatever they want in life. Sometimes, not everyone is going to understand what you are trying to convey. Perhaps it isn’t the right time for them, maybe they refuse to hear because of past issues, or maybe they truly wish you to fail. The lopsided opinions of a few individuals that live on this planet shouldn’t make a difference in the direction you want to go with your life, or the direction of your message.

Thank You And Move On

There are many people who think that their opinions of you are correct for you and your life. They believe that what was good or bad for them is good or bad for you. The best way to deal with those types of people, if they are coming from spite, anger, ridicule, or disrespect, is to just thank them for their opinion and move on. Don’t give that opinion a chance to take root, delete it from your mind and thoughts as quickly as possible, reaffirm who you are and where you are going, and move on.

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Crabs In A Bucket

I was a boy growing up in North Carolina, we would go crabbing on the weekends.  My family would go down to the pier with raw chicken and string.  We would tie one end of string to the pier and the other to the piece of chicken, throw the chicken in the water and wait for a hungry crab to come and sample a free meal.  Once the string tightened as the crab tried to swim away with its prize, we would slowly pull the string and crab to the surface, scoop it up with a net, and put it into a five gallon bucket.  On a good day we could catch upwards of fifty crabs.

As the bucket became more and more full, I noticed that even when the crabs got closer and closer to the edge, they never seemed to be able to make it out.  As they clambered and struggled, one crab would come close only to be dragged back down by another.  I have even seen one larger crab, out of either anger or frustration, break another crab in half.crabs-in-bucket-2

This story has brought up a point that I and others have dealt with, and probably will deal with again.  It seems the closer you get to your goal, the more people and circumstances try to tear you down or stop you completely and make you quit. The people you may interact with, may have either tried and failed themselves to achieve something and may do everything to see you fail as well.  They may have a negative attitude towards something that gave up on and if you succeed where they failed, you suddenly become the focus of their negative attitude.  Even the music you may listen to, the books you read, and the television programs you watch, may all be doing their best to keep you right where you are. They will not kill you as in the story of the crabs, but they will cause the dream you carry to die.

A good way to help with this problem is to decrease the time you spend with people who have this negative attitude, or who seem to be trying to pull you down.  This will aid in keeping you focused on your goal and not the opinions of those who may be “trying to help”, but also those who may be in mediocrity and stagnation.

You want to be as full of good positive energy as possible to help with the challenges that may arise as you follow your dreams.  Finding those how can help you along the way and lift you up when you are down is one of the best ways to achieve your goals. But don’t forget that you may be the very crab that is keeping some down.

On the other hand, if you surround yourself with like-minded people, and those who will help and inspire you to do your best

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Torn Between Two Places

Have you ever struggled with the feeling of being torn between two places, the feeling of being destined for greatness, for whatever your definition of success is, and the world in which everyone tells you what you are doing is crazy? Every fiber of your being tells you that life has something awesome in store for you. Like the tides, the feeling is strong on some days and less on others, but it is still there. You go to sleep thinking about it, you dream about it, and when you awake it is the first thing on your mind. You don’t know where this urge comes from, only when you get the feeling of flying every time you think of it. This thought, this idea may have started off as a small whisper, almost brushed off as one of those random thoughts you get throughout the day. But unlike those other thoughts, this one stuck around. Slowly, quietly gathering other thoughts and ideas that match it. Becoming like a snowball rolling down hill. Now the idea is much louder, now not just a whisper, it now yells of possibility. You are filled with so much excitement, you want to run and tell everyone you know about this thought, this idea.

But it just so happens that in your excitement you told a close friend, perhaps a family member of this wonderful idea that you have. Unfortunately, friends and family can be the worst type of emotional backup when it comes to chasing your goals and dreams. Although they may mean well, in most cases, they may do as little as brush you and your idea off as silly talk. They may even try to talk you out of your idea. They may say things like, “I’ve never heard of anyone doing that”, or “It’s going to be tough in the market.” Those remarks are not so bad, besides the conviction you feel about your idea is stronger than any of your friend’s comments.two-directions

On the other hand, family is more of a challenge, especially if there is a deep love and respect for your family, but a small to a great deal of resistance to your goals and dreams.  There may be the urging of your family to follow in the footsteps of the family name or to give up on your dreams because others in your family have done the same thing and think that is just the way it is. This may also lead to anger towards your goal, because they have failed, they may not want you to succeed. In other cases, it may be a feeling of confusion from the those closest to you, the thought of how and why your “stupid little dream” will succeed.

This is a dilemma, on the one hand, you have your desires and on the other family and friends who may be against your decision.  You can try and limit your contact with family, but if they live with you that could be a problem.  You love them and naturally don’t want to hurt them, but it doesn’t seem as if they care about your feelings.  And to just quit and give up on your dreams would make your family happy, but in the long run you may become miserable and even become resentful towards your family.

With all this being said, it begs the question, what do you do? There a plethora of choices you can make on this subject, some may be good for you and others, a detriment to your relationships.  You can take things to the extreme and fight against your friends and family.  You can tell them that it is none of their business in the choices you are going to make and the dreams you are pursuing.  You can tell them that you don’t care about their opinions, off all contact with them, and go as far as moving out or moving away.  That may be what is needed, sometime the complete separation is the correct action to take.  Perhaps indeed friends and family were holding you back.  Maybe it is like crabs in a bucket, as one fights and struggle to climb out others pull it back down.

Another idea is to just keep your dream to yourself and only reveal it when you have accomplished it.  There may still be some ridicule on your decision, but it is after the fact, it is too late for them to try and stop you through the opinions and comments, although, even after the fact, they may still have problems with your goals. But, there may be a chance that they will be impressed and even proud of what you have done.

Yet, another idea is to use love.  To explain that you greatly appreciate their opinions and suggestions, but this is the choice that you wish to make.  You can encourage them, even if they are against your choice, to understand that this is your decision and you would love it if they were open to your dreams and goals.  They may still ridicule you and tell that you are making a mistake, but if you are determined to move forward and see your dreams and goals succeed, the choice is still yours to make.

The Third Place

As stated in the title, there may be a near constant psychological battle between the goal that you are being pulled and driven to achieve and the possible outward objection to that goal by friends and family.  But there is another more destructive possible opponent to the fulfillment of your dreams, Your own mind and its thoughts.  Many dreams have fallen away due to the negative self talk that we sometimes give ourselves.  This conflict, at least in the early stages of trying to realize your dreams, may be the toughest fight you will face.  The voices of self doubt will scream, backed up with the almost unlimited supply of ammunition of negative opinions, will discharge a constant barrage on nearly a daily basis.  Allied with setbacks and apparent failures, the thoughts of those who were destined for greatness, have found their dreams crushed and now wallow in the anguish of a mediocre unfulfilled life.  And the voices that once ridiculed your “dream chasing”, now poke fun at how easily you surrendered and the fact that they never saw you as a success anyway.

You must decide at this moment that if you find your gaol worthy of pursuit, that no one, not even your own thoughts will deter you from your dream.

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Look How Far You’ve Come

If you have been following my website for awhile, you know that I discuss the importance of sticking to your goals and dreams.  Some of us find ourselves discouraged by where we are, our current situation in our pursuit of what we want out of life.  We work hard and try our best every day to stay motivated, to stay positive about our dreams.  Yes, we’ve had those who have, and still do doubt our journey to success and those who say we are crazy for even trying to go “against the grain”.  It has been and for some of us, still is an uphill battle, even dealing with our own thoughts and emotions.  Sometimes we do have the feeling of just giving up and doing what others think is normal, only to have those same people reticule us and say things like, “See, I told you it was a dumb plan.”

But, here is a bit of encouragement, motivation, and food for thought.  Have you noticed that the voices that mocked you and told you that you were wrong are less now?  Can you see that there are fewer people giving you their negative opinion on the choices you have made?  With the moving forward towards your dream, do you realize how far you have come?  The path before you will have twists and turns and can sometimes be uncertain, but you know for certain where you started and how the path lead to where you are.

Look at where you are, look at the trails you have overcome and the accomplishments you have achieved.  For some of us, all we had was an idea, and the distance between where we started to where we are is huge.  I am not saying to dwell on the past or second guess your decisions, I am saying you are doing what you wanted to do and the proof of your persistence is in the footprints you have left behind.footprints-1189780__180

So be encouraged, fight on, keep working, keep pushing, you are where here because of what you have done so far.

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Why Fight?

What gives us the endurance to keep moving forward?  To take another step towards our goals and dreams?  It would be much easier to just give up, there are too many things telling you that this will never work.  Not even friends and family think that this endeavor has any promise and even call it a “nice hobby”. How do you go from wanting your dream to succeed, to making your dream succeed?

I admit it, I almost threw in the towel.  I began to think to myself, that maybe I should just quit all this online business stuff and get a job where at least I will know that I will have a paycheck coming in on a dissapointmentregular basis.  Why continue to fight against the inevitable?  What is the use of going against the grain, of trying to be something better than you are?  This feeling stayed with me for awhile until I realized that this was the exact same point when I gave before. This is the pattern that I began to see.  It was around this time, when starting something new that my mind would begin to offer thoughts of doubt and disbelief. Your mind can be your worst enemy when it comes to going for what you want in life instead of what you need.  It will start to feed your thoughts of failure and fear.  It will make every attempt to force you to quit and return to your comfort zone.  It will try to convince you that all your obstacles are becoming too much, too difficult to handle and you’ll begin to think sure, maybe things are too tough, maybe this whole “work for myself” thing isn’t really for me.

No, you must say to yourself, I am a Champion!  I will never give up, never surrender. I have decided, declared, made a choice to change winnermy life.  I will keep moving forward!  No longer will I just sit by while others obtain the success that I deserve.  I will not quit, I will go forward and continue the fight.  I must learn more, do more, get off the train of doubt and self-pity.  I must keep moving forward, this is my life and I will make what I want it to be, that is my gift, that is my choice.

Yes, it can be hard to keep going sometimes, but what things in life worth doing are easy?  Today I rededicate myself to this passion, I recommit to my goal, to this journey, to my success. I will never give up, never surrender.

Like the seed of the oak tree, we, as humans, are given the potential to grow and to be great.  We are all blessed, from birth with everything that we will need to thrive in life, not just survive.  Unfortunately, some seeds are not tended well, neglected,  mistreated, and twisted. They are left at the wayside,  never to be heard from again, and in their own lives never amounting to anything more than a menial existence.

And it’s their “fallen” state they pray to be saved, they long to be released from their turmoil and hardship. But what is unknown to them and like the mighty oak tree, the potential has never left them.

The seedling oak never asks for help to rise above to  receive the light from the sun. It also fails to notice any obstruction that would deter it’s roots from reaching nutrients of the soil around it.  It sunbeam-forestsimply moves, shifts, fights for its place in the world.  A place that has been promised to it long before its arrival. Never give in to the thoughts and feelings of others,  they have their own path to walk, the opinions of others for your life should not concern you.  Why fight?, because it is has been promised long before your arrival. It was a gift,  you are worthy and deserve to succeed and take your rightful place in this world.

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A Choice To Give

“That Peppermint Pattie sure looks good”, Robert said, eyeing the candy in my hand that I had recently purchased from the store.  Robert continued to explain that he had recently been released from prison after serving ten years and was struggling a bit on the streets.  This fact was made even more apparent by the appearance of his clothes and the state of his bicycle, which carried two plastic bags of what I assumed were can and bottles for recycling.peppermint pattie

Although I couldn’t tell if his prison story was true of not, it faded with the fact that I was apparently going to have to give up my candy that I meticulously picked from a group of beaten up and half melted choices.                                                                                                                                “You can have this candy”, I said reluctantly half hoping he would turn the offer down.                                                                                                  “Thank you man, I really appreciate it”, Robert said with a look that I perceived as genuine gratitude.

As I walked through the parking lot a sat in my car, a wave, a feeling, a pull swept over me.  I suddenly had the urge to give something, anything to Robert to help him out.  I didn’t just want to give him a piece of candy as if he was some kid during Halloween.

Just as that thought arose, another more negative one began to chime in and so began the two minute epic battle in my mind.

“It’s a scam, how do you know if he has ever been to prison?”, ” He might be a crackhead trying to get some money for drugs, plus you gave him your candy out of guilt, isn’t that enough?”, ” You have bills to pay and giving to him may cause you to go without.”  “What would your wife think?” Although these are all good points, there was something pulling at my heart, something that made all the excuses and “truths” fade away.

I got out of my car and headed to an ATM.  On the way I passed Robert, still enjoying the candy that I had given him moments earlier.   “Man, this is good, haven’t had one of these in a long time.”  I returned a few minutes later with $40 and gave it to Robert.  Now believe me that this money was going to pay a bill, there was a definite plan for that money.  I apologized to him saying I was sorry that it wasn’t more, but I don’t think he heard me as his eyes began to fight to hold back tears.  “Thank you so much, you have no idea how much I needed this”, he said. Robert told me a little more of his story, he thanked me again for the money, and then we parted ways.

I sat back down in my car and pondered what just happened.  Giving money to people who are homeless or down on their luck is nothing new, but for me the thing was that Robert never asked for the money, I was compelled to give, my heart felt heavy and the only way to alleviate that feeling was to help Robert.  I am not an overly emotional person, but I found it difficult to fight back the tears. Why?, I thought about them for awhile and I think the simple act of giving with no expectation of return, the choice to give made me feel good.

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Trying To Feel Happy From Outside The Box

Would you believe me if I told you that you hold the keys to your joy and happiness? Probably not. How could this possibly be true when someone who cuts you off in traffic, ruining your day. The prior statement couldn’t possibly be right, when you just saw a TV program that made you sad, Or your significant other said something hurtful that lingered with you all day.

The problem is, a lot of us seem to think that happiness is given to us by others, or that someone else is responsible for proving us joy. We rely heavily on outside influences to dictate whether we feel happy or not. We never look to ourselves and realize that happiness comes from within. By trusting and depending on others to give us our joy, we are setting ourselves up for ultimate failure.
Don’t get me wrong, there are people out there who genuinely want to see other people happy, and do their best to bring joy to those around them. But, you must place all you dependence on them to give you happiness for your life.

For Example, if you’re dating someone new, don’t depend on them to make you happy. Ask yourself if you’re happy first. Going into a relationship when you’re unhappy, will only end in you are expecting too much and getting your heart broken. Yes, your partner should make you feel somewhat happy, but they can’t be solely responsible for your overall happiness. They will never be able to give you the exact joy and happiness you want, because it’s your life.

It’s A Conscious Feeling

Being happy has to be more than just a feeling, it has to be a conscious emotion that you must work at everyday. The reason I say this point, is because we are bombarded by negativity at almost every waking hour of the day. from the negative one sided news to the gossip of those around us. Even listening to your car radio may be subjecting you to negative subliminal messages. Try sometime, try listening to the words of one of your favorite songs. You may be surprised that under the awesome beat or sweet tune, is a message of lack, loneliness, failure, or cruelty. If you wish to experience joy and happiness in its true form, you must make a daily effort to block out such negativity. You can exercise happiness by taking a few moments to appreciate the things you have in life and what you’re most grateful for. What puts the biggest smile on your face? What makes you extremely proud? What are you thankful for? Aim to do this a couple of times a week. As you work through answering each question, you will not only encourage positive feelings, but you will also feel less stressed about the things that make you unhappy.
didn’t get the job you wanted, it’s your partner’s fault. No it isn’t. The choices you make and the actions you delivery, is down to you and only you. Claim that responsibility.

Don’t try and complicate what you think happiness is. Happiness can be found in the smallest and simplest of things. If your version of happiness is a 6 bedroom house in L.A, then you might have to revise your expectations and priorities. There is absolutely nothing wrong in aiming high, but you need to make sure you don’t rely on something so materialistic to make you feel happy.

How can I encourage being happy?

You can exercise happiness by taking a few moments to appreciate the things you have in life and what you’re most grateful for. What puts the biggest smile on your face? What makes you extremely proud? What are you thankful for? Aim to do this a couple of times a week. As you work through answering each question, you will not only encourage positive feelings, but you will also feel less stressed about the things that make you unhappy.

Another way to encourage some happiness into your life is to write down all things that make you happy. Small or big, it really doesn’t matter as long as it’s something that puts a great big smile on your face. It could be your favorite TV show, song, funny friend or something that you randomly saw on Facebook! This is a great task that you can carry out daily, writing down all things that made you smile that day.

As well as revisiting old joys, it’s important to discover new things that make you happy. You might be at a point in life, where it’s hard to pick out what makes you happy. Don’t dwell and don’t settle for having nothing to smile about, go search for happiness instead. The moment we go, ” Well this is it. Doom and gloom from here on out!”, is the moment you become a negative person and someone who stops themselves from allowing themselves to be happy. Fight those negative thoughts and take action to encourage positive ones.

I’ll leave you with this beautiful quote…

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. – Buddha

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