What did you do the day you stopped waking up with a smile?

Is change scary for you? You are not alone. ← Click to tweet

What did you do when you stopped waking up with a smile? ←Click to tweet

On his GoodLife Project, Jonathan Fields shares the story of a lawyer who left a 22-year successful practice when she no longer woke up with a smile.

Listen to her story and then share in the comments how you had the courage (or wish you did) to make a change in your life when you realized it was time.

Our Gift from Steve Jobs

As we all pause to mourn the loss of Steve Jobs, let us reflect on the gift he gave us during his lifetime. Most will think that his greatest gift is his contribution to the computer and entertainment world. But it’s more than that.

At a commencement speech at Stanford he spoke of the path his life took and the choices he made. The fact that he was invited to speak at a university graduation was just one of many ironic and remarkable things about his life. He never graduated from college because it was restricting and delaying him from answering the call of his dreams.

He recounted the circumstances of his young birth mother being very purposeful about who would adopt her son, his leaving college to follow his dream, the hurtful experience of being fired from the company he helped found and finally the devastating news of pancreatic cancer.

Through it all Steve had a vision and life drive that perhaps few could understand. Never mind that it’s rumored that his visions were helped along by psychedelic drugs in his early days, he left us a gift nonetheless.

  • He showed us what can happen when you follow an idea, even when you’re not sure where it is taking you.
    He mentions in the commencement speech how audited a calligraphy class at Reed College just because he wanted to, later served him well when creating the fonts and spacing for Apple computers.
  • He left us with an example of what living your life to its fullest means, even in the face of a cruel illness that promised to shorten his time with us. He lived each day as if it was his last. By the time he did face his last day he had changed the lives of people around the world because of his innovative ideas and determination to sharing them with us.
  • Finally, he left us with an example of what being rich is really about. He reportedly had a temper, was intolerant of half-ass work, perfectionistic and fiercely focused, but he bravely extracted the most from each day of his life to create what he saw would improve our lives even when no one else could see it.
  • It may seem disingenuous to mourn the loss of someone you never knew personally, but when that someone was a genius whose live and work changed the way we all live and work, it’s most appropriate.
  • Thank you, Steve Jobs, for your gift. May we open our gift and continue to be inspired, encouraged and enriched by it.

    P.S. In case you didn’t see that Stanford commencement speech, I’ve posted it above.

    How Will You Celebrate 'Happiness Happens' Month

    boyslaughing-canstockphoto5609036August is Happiness Happens Month, started by the Secret Society of Happy People in 1999. The group is no longer a secret since they boast over 14, 000 “Likes” on Facebook. You can learn more about them on their website, http://www.sohp.com

    The Society has three purposes for this month:

    • Recognize and express happiness
    • Listen to others talk about their happiness
    • Don’t rain on other people’s parades

    These sound like some good ideas for any time of the year, but it won’t hurt to be extra mindful of creating your happiness this month.

    Some of the ways you can celebrate

    • don a pair of silver shades (because happy people always see the silver lining)
    • laugh (laughter is still the best medicine)
    • smile (and the world smiles with you)
    • post on Twitter about what makes you happy, using the hashtag #HappinessHappens

    What are some ways you will celebrate this month?

    "I want to be like you when I grow up."

    dressup-resizedI hear this a lot, and until I read Tim Miles response to a similar question, I didn’t have a good comeback.

    Now I do.

    So you want to be like me when you grow up?

    Okay, here goes in no particular order.

    • Get up at 5:30 AM every morning whether you have to go to work or not. (Yes, weekends too.)

    • Each day if you are able to get out of bed under your own power, or you are still alive,  say “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118: 24

    • Write in your journal, morning pages, reflect on your day, go for a walk, meditate or other activity that sets your intention for the day.

    • Stop watching the news. It’s designed to scare and distract you. Someone will tell you if you need to evacuate your neighborhood.

    • Stop waiting for the right time to do what you want. I couldn’t figure out the order in which I should have a teaching career, a family, return to graduate school and be an entrepreneur. So, I did it all along at the same time. (Try giving birth to your 3rd child on the first day of school in the second year of your doctoral studies and returning to classes the next week.)
    • Strive for harmony in your life by making time for work, health, fun, family, friends and spiritual needs.

    • Be willing to do things that make sense to you even if  not to other people, even your family and friends.
    • Learn to enjoy your alone time. Major projects require blocks of thinking and working alone.

    • When you have a burning desire to travel or go to some  event, don’t postpone it waiting for a willing companion. Go by yourself.
    • Risk making a fool of yourself or failing miserably at something.
    • Face frequent bouts with  self-doubt, knowing that you’ll regain your self-confidence and forge ahead.
    • Follow your dream for years even if you aren’t making any money from it.
    • Admit you don’t know everything. Take classes and read constantly.
    • Always be open to learning, especially from your kids.

    • When you figure something out, be willing to share it with others even when they won’t pay you a cent for it.
    • Accept the fact that when you open your heart to love someone (even your kids) they may not love you back in the way that you would like. Love people anyway.
    • Adapt to change. It’s the only constant.
    • Make a plan.
    • Abandon your plan and be spontaneous sometimes.
    • Show gratitude for all your life experiences, even the ones you that didn’t seem so great at first.
    • Then, when you are about to enter your 7th decade, share your life tips with someone who says to you “I want to be like you when I grow up.”

    Want to Be Happier? Be Thankful for What You Have

    It’s a common habit for us to want what we don’t have and want more of what we do? It’s the topic of our conversations, and it’s what advertisers count on to increase their profits.

    And yet, when we get our last desire, we are still not satisfied.

    When my oldest daughter was in elementary school, she wanted to have straight hair like one of her Anglo classmates. Her classmate’s mom disclosed to me that her daughter came home asking her to curl up and twist her hair like my daughter’s.

    If we continue in this manner, always wanting what we don’t have, there’s a real danger that we won’t appreciate and enjoy what we do have. The tragedy of that is we miss out on our own happiness, sometimes working ourselves into an unfortunate unhappiness, depression, or disorder.

    When I saw Nick Vijucic on the following video, I felt ashamed for ever having neglected to be grateful for all my blessings. I bet you’ll feel the same way when you watch it.