Want to Be Happier? Riding a Dead Horse Won't Help

Riding a Dead Horse by James Cridland from flickr

Riding a Dead Horse by James Cridland from flickr

I recently listened to a teleseminar with Brett Harward, author of The 5 Laws That Determine All of Life’s Outcomes He shared many powerful tips on running a successful business all based on the idea that we are not in a recession, but a revolution.

He emphasized that the way of running businesses has changed. The consumer has many choices and a strong voice. Businesses who don’t recognize this are trying to get back to normal. The only problem is that normal has changed.

If you are trying to be happier, but experiencing frustration, you may be trying to live by the old “normal” in your life.

Let me give you an example.

A friend expressed her upset that her teenage nieces and nephews never call her on the telephone or write letters. She continued with accusations of how thoughtless they were. After all, she had done for them when they were growing up.

She confessed that when she complained to them they told her that if she had a computer they would send email or a cell phone they would text her, but that they seldom make phone calls anymore.

That made her even more upset. No way was she going to be forced to get a computer or a cell phone.

Her unwillingness to recognize that modern communication has changed has kept her from more frequent contact with her relatives.

She certainly does not have to invest in a computer or a cell phone if that’s her choice, but she also won’t achieve her objective of keeping close relations with her nieces and nephews by ignoring the changes in how we communicate.

Another example.

A few years before I retired from teaching, we received a notice that all future minutes of our division meetings would be in the form of email. We were urged to read the minutes before the next meeting, notify the Dean’s assistant of any errors or omissions and bring our printed copies to the next meeting.

The Dean went on to stress that “I don’t like to read email” would not be an acceptable excuse and that the only print copy we would receive would be the ones we printed from our own computers.

Our school was actually behind the times compared to the advances in technology on other campuses, and yet some faculty members were upset at this change.

Their upset didn’t block the change in communication. They had to scramble along kicking and screaming, finally learning to use their computers, at least the email.

Are you one of those people who grumbles about the rapid pace of changes in communication, entertainment, transportation and many other things in our lives?

You’re not alone. I can remember dragging my feet on some gadgets and changes along the way. But I soon realized that my success, well-being and happiness were dependent on acknowledging and embracing change.

Riding a dead horse, especially upside down, makes for amazing art full of symbolism.(See photo above) But it’s not a good practice for life progress.

If so, watch out for those bumps and scraps you’re sure to sustain as you get pulled along at the tail end of progress.

Want to be Happier? Longing for the Good Old Days Will Keep You Stuck

42-15530533Many people believe that somewhere in the past were the good old days and that the old way of doing things is best.

If you are want to be happier but feel stuck, it may because you are clinging to this misguided belief.

Over the next few posts I will share why longing or trying to do things the old way will keep you frustrated, stuck and unhappy.

The truth is the good old days were not always that good. It may seem that way in retrospect, but if you examine all the aspects you may be able to put those memories in perspective.

And if you did have some great times but didn’t savor them because you were constantly trying to be in the future, you missed them anyway.

The number one reason the old way won’t work anymore is when it solved a problem that no longer exists.

There’s a story about a new bride who was cooking her first dinner and invited her mother. Her mother arrived early she was observing her daughter as she cooked.

She noticed that her daughter cut a roast in half and placed each half in its own pot on the stove to cook.

The mother looked at her daughter with curiosity and asked, “Why did you put that roast in two small pots instead of cooking it in just one large one?”

The daughter looked at her mother with surprise and said, ” Don’t you remember, that’s the way you always cooked roasts when I was a child.”

The mother threw her head back in laughter and said, “Oh. I just did that because we were so poor that those two small pots were all that I had.”

The daughter was following her mother’s practice without ever knowing why.

It reminds me of the way my mother rolled out dough with an empty beer bottle because she didn’t own a rolling pin. Wouldn’t it be silly for me to follow my mother’s habit when there’s no longer a need.

Take a look at your habits or your longing for the good ol’ days. Are you behaving according to an old problem that no longer exists or tradition that is no longer serving you?

Tell us about it.