Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pursue Happiness

One of my favorite bloggers, Scott Dinsmore, likes to say, "happiness not spent today does not equal more happiness tomorrow."  That quote really resonates with me. Why spend another second doing something that you don't enjoy? Yet, many of us do everyday including myself. I'm working on this and I hope you'll join me. 

At first it seems hard to separate from the people, work, etc. that instead of lifting you up, weigh you down.  Start small. Write a list of as many things as you can that drain you and don't make you happy.  Then write a list of things that make you happiest in life.  Choose one thing from each list every month or even every week. Rid yourself of the thing that doesn't make you happy and do the thing that does make you happy. It may take some time, courage, and maybe even a little sweat, but in the end you'll be much happier. 

You may find that a person or two make your list of things that don't make you happy. Begin distancing yourself from them and spending that extra time with people that bring you joy.  Maybe your career leaves you tired and unmotivated instead of energized and excited about what you do. If so, I highly recommend reading the free ebook, Take This Job and Shove It. You'll find it full of lots of little steps that will have a big impact towards making a living while doing something you're passionate about.  As they say, "Do what you love and you'll never work another day in your life."

Share your progress by leaving a comment below.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Join In

This past weekend I attended a charitable event hosted by Reason to Party in San Francisco. They throw a big party every few months of epic proportions and give all of the proceeds to a specific charity. It makes it easy to support a worthy cause, all in the name of a good time.

Over the past decade I've supported Easter Seals, Meals on Wheels, a couple of local neighborhood groups (not to mention my two-year stint in the Peace Corps) all with my time and effort. Joining such groups not only make you feel like your having some good impact on this earth, it's also a great way to meet good friends and build lasting relationships doing something your passionate about.

Find something that lights a fire under you; whether it's a cause, a club of similar interests, or a community organization. Be a part of something and join a group this week. If you need some inspiration, check out meetup.com for a list of groups in your area. They have groups for just about everything. Again, it doesn't need to be for charity (that's just my thing), as long as it's something that interests you.

Leave a comment and let me know what you group you joined this week.



Monday, April 18, 2011

Go Offline

Many reading this might not remember a time before the Internet. I do. As a child, television and video games often kept me glued to a screen. Every summer we went camping as a family. Shortly before our trip, I'd wonder how I'd survive without my television and video games, but somehow I did.

This past weekend, after many years, I went camping again. As in the olden days, I left my electronics behind (I made exceptions for my camera and sonicare). No cell phone, no Internet, no TV, and certainly no video games. I felt a little nervous at first, but after a while it felt great. I didn't care what people were doing on Facebook. I didn't even care about the time of day. It didn't matter. Only three things mattered; myself, my companions, and my surroundings. I took the opportunity to soak it all in.

Pick an upcoming weekend and go offline. Encourage your friends and family to join you. Tweet, Facebook, and text everyone to let them know that they may have trouble reaching you. If you can, think back to a time when you didn't have access to electronic devices. What did you do to keep yourself entertained?

Suggested Vital Actions...

- Read
- Play a game with friends
- Visit a family member or old friend
- Try a new recipe
- Write
- Create something artistic

Leave a comment stating what you did with your extra time and who you spent it with.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Do Something That Scares You

They say, "Do something everyday that scares you." I don't know who "they" are, but at first it may seem difficult to find something everyday that scares you (unless you live with my brother who likes to jump out behind corners every chance he gets). In any case, the point of the quote is to challenge yourself as much as possible and delve beyond your comfort zone. So today you're tasked with the pursuit of doing something new.

Have fun with this! If you've never skateboarded, you might try jumping on your kids board and seeing how you fair for five minutes. If you're having fun, keep going. If not, you still have something to be proud of. You just reconnected with your adventurous side today. Try something else tomorrow, and the next day, and so on. Not only does your brain love this, you'll bring some excitement to your life and who knows you might find something that adds to your life and brings you more joy.

More simple but Vital Actions to try...

- Taste a new food or drink
- Talk to a stranger and make a new friend
- Go somewhere you've never been (a local park, pub, cafe, or even a leisurely drive in a new direction)
- Listen to a new artist
- Visit a museum, art gallery, or garden you've never been to

Leave a comment and share what you did today.