The coronavirus pandemic has brought up many questions concerning social responsibility versus individual freedom, but there is a clear answer to this dilemma.
Life as we know it has been turned upside down in a manner of weeks. Everything seems uncertain: jobs, retirement funds, everyday supplies – but all of that comes after our most important asset, which is our health.
On this subject there seems to be two opposing camps: those who who believe we should all quarantine and those who don’t.
Of course, there are some exceptions, but for the most part it seems that most people who choose not to do so are in the younger generation. Now, before you think I am over generalizing all young people, believe me, I am not. I realize there are many conscious minded younger people out there doing their part to help the cause.
This article is about the other people, no matter what their age.
There are many people who are watching their financial security go right down the drain, but those don’t seem to be the ones who are out in public, living it up. It is difficult to see how partying and socializing could be more important than people dying, but that is how some people are prioritizing things.
This is especially important when health care workers and other community workers are putting their lives at risk every single day while others flippantly dismiss everything that is going on.
For some reason those of the younger generation seem to feel they have no civic or social responsibility for their family, their community, their country, or the world. America is definitely a society that has been built on the chops of the individual, but we all hold a certain obligation to the people around us.
We should all remember that not so far down the line, we will be the older generation and will also be dependent on those around us to do the right thing during any future epidemics. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a philosophy to live by, whether we are religious or not.
But some of the same people who volunteer at homeless shelters and give money for those suffering around the world are also refusing to quarantine during this time of stress and fear.
Not so long ago, younger people were expected to be full contributors to the fabric of our communities in every way. Even children were expected to contribute (think Victory Gardens during World War II), but as the decades have passed the age that individuals are expected to be socially responsible has risen. First, it was children, then teenagers, then twenty-somethings, and now it has risen to those in their thirties.
If we do not stop the slippage, soon no one will be expected to be accountable for their actions in the world at large. Where would that leave us when searching for the next generation of leaders?
Blame it on helicopter parenting, the rise of social media, the decline of organized religion, or anything you like, but the end result is the same. These young people have become victims themselves because they have not learned basic good will toward others. We must get back to love and compassion for our fellow man. If we all sacrifice a just a little for the greater good, then this world will be better for us all.
Remember, there are no bad people, just bad decisions. And those can always be changed.
Wishing everyone health and happiness!
Each person has their own special vibration. It is the essence of you and everything that you are, so it can be negative, positive or somewhere in between.
Happy people generally have a positive vibration, and unhappy people have a more negative vibration. So obviously we should all strive to be on the positive side of things. However, that is not always as easy as it sounds, right?
Our happiness and health both depend on our ability to stay positive. There are several things that can affect us negatively. Here are a few of them:
- Reading too much news
- Watching negative movies or television shows
- Interacting too much on social media
However, one of the worst ones for me is dealing with negative people. It is difficult to stay in your positive mindset when people around you are constantly complaining about the weather, illnesses, politics, their spouses, their unruly children etc.
Now, the most obvious thing to do here is to avoid any person who is bringing negativity into your life. But we all know there are some people and some situations that cannot be avoided. Sometimes it is a coworker or a family member, for instance.
If fact, I have a family member who constantly complains about how awful it is to get older, how retirement is terrible, how miserable their health is, and generally how life is not worth living.
And I talk to this person almost daily.
Let me tell you, I find myself dreading the interactions because it always brings down my good mood. But I have learned a few things to help me cope with it.
LImit the Interactions
I allow myself one interaction with this person per day. This means that if they call me a second time on the same day, then I don’t answer the phone and call them back the next day. I also don’t speak with them on the phone if I have physically seen them that day.
Set a Time Limit
This person loves to drone on and on about the same problems everyday. They also like to revisit the same issues repeatedly in the same conversation. I have made it a habit to allow only so much time for this. For phone calls I will talk to them for no more than 20 minutes. For visits I limit the time to an hour and a half.
State Your Positive Purpose
I recently told this family member that I had decided to have a positive outlook and only say positive things. They readily agreed that was a good thing and stopped asking me to agree with their most recent negative statement. So far, I have had to remind them of this choice every time we have talked since, but they still respect it when I point it out.
Learn to Redirect
A negative person will always return to saying negative things. That must be some universal law or something. So inevitably, I must direct the family member back to being positive. One of their favorite sayings is, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. You know it?” My response to that is always, “I’m only saying positive things, remember?” I simply refuse to agree to any negative statements. Then I point out some positive things about the person’s life.
So far, this has worked. It has also helped direct our conversations in an overall better direction, because after that interaction, the family member doesn’t want to appear to be the “negative one” so they find lighter and happier things to talk about.
Now, I can tell you from experience that it doesn’t always work with everyone. I have another family member who never seems to cooperate with this strategy, so I just limit the interactions with them and go on about my day.
I’m sure there are other ways to deal with negative people, but these are the strategies that work for me. Never let anyone else (and anything else) affect your positive outlook. Protect your vibration and you protect your whole existence. This is part of How To Be Happy In Every Area of Your Life.
Lately, I have been thinking a great deal about busy work. It seems our lives are filled with it these days. You might even say we are consumed by it.
What do I mean by busy work? Let me start by what it is NOT. Busy work is not the repetitive things we do in life that are necessary or make our life better. For example, cleaning our home is not busy work because it is beneficial to our health to have a clean living space, not to mention the mental benefits of living in a comfortable, organized home.
Rather, busy work is comprised of the many thoughtless, meaningless activities that fill our lives and do not make our lives, or anyone else’s, better. This would include mounds of paperwork that are sometimes required in our jobs (some of that is just ridiculous), the endless meetings our bosses require us to attend, moving piles of “stuff” around our house because we can’t make the decision to part with them, or the countless hours spent on social media. (Yes, I count count social media as busy work because we are using up valuable hours of our lives that we will never get back again.)
I realize that we sometimes have little or no control over the demands of our jobs, but we can definitely exert more power over our personal lives. And, actually, we control our working environment more than we think. Maybe you could make some suggests for streamlining tasks or other improvements (you are probably not the only one who hates all the paperwork and meetings). Or maybe it is time to pursue a different job or start your own business.
It is beneficial to loosely plan your schedule for the day, then examine it to see if you are using your time wisely. If not, find ways to cut out the meaningless activities that offer your life no added value. When doing this, be sure to think about ways to simplify tasks in the future in order to spend more quality time with family and friends.
My sister in law has undergone a metamorphosis that has allowed her to downsize her life in many ways. Her house is smaller than some apartments I have lived in. She made the decision to downsize to this degree because she wanted to spend more time with her children and grandchildren instead of cleaning, organizing, and maintaining her home. Incidentally, her smaller home also came with a smaller lawn, which she now pays someone else to maintain. She simplified her life, and she also gave a nice young man some paying work. It’s a win/win situation.
I, too, have been working on the journey to freedom from busy work. It can be easier said than done in practical daily life, but here are a few things I have done around my home that simplified things tremendously.
- I bought this jewelry organizer that is so large it holds everything I own and also doubles as a pretty, full length mirror.
- I added this jewelry organizer to my dresser for the things I wear most days so I never need to hunt for them.
- I got some shoe organizers to get all of my shoes up off the floor of my closet. Amazon no longer carries the ones I bought, but this shoe organizer looks good according to the reviews.
- We installed wall to wall wire shelving in our pantry. This allowed for lots of light to filter through the shelves and also cut way down on how dusty the shelves could get.
- We bought these bamboo trays and now use them in three of our kitchen drawers so we have stopped having to rummage for everything we needed.
- We bought two magnetic knife strips from Harbor Freight (much cheaper than most on Amazon and designed for heavier objects). We installed one in our kitchen and also one over the range in our camper.
- Last Christmas I ordered these organizing hooks for my car and put them in my own stocking. I use them for countless things including my purse. Just love them!
We are still working on ways to organize and simplify our home and our lives. I have found that as our children get older it gets much easier, but I believe it is a process that’s never really completed. Luckily, I really enjoy streamlining and organizing, so this is not a problem for me.
Remember that you are the captain of your ship and life is a journey that we only take once. Don’t allow the precious minutes of your life to be spent on meaningless tasks and busy work. Live your life intentionally instead of blindly being lead around by circumstances.
Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For
Americans have a perception problem. In fact, Americans have SO MANY perception problems that you are probably considering which one I mean.
So here it is: happiness.
It does not come with a new job, house, car or vacation. It also doesn’t come with having more stuff than your family/friends/neighbors. And it doesn’t matter how many reality shows or Instagram posts tell you so.
I could say that I was a bird 200 times a day, but that simply won’t make it true.
One of the strangest things about this is the news. Media outlets of all types seem to push this mentality with their attempt to grab our attention with headlines. Since when did this sort of thing become news? And lifestyle sections….don’t get me started. Who cares what dress someone wore to an awards ceremony when there are hurricanes and starving people on this planet?
We think we know what will bring us happiness. Most of us are wrong. Including me.
It is a perception thing. All my life have been taught to achieve and acquire. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with either of those things – as long as the pursuit of them doesn’t get in the way of being happy.
The recipe for a happy life (in my opinion) can be summed up with the following bits:
- Having friends & family I love and who love me
- Enjoying freedom in life to do what I love
- Being financially secure (out of debt & with savings) to sleep well at night
- Feeling as healthy as possible
Most of us would agree with the above list in theory, but I have found it can be difficult to implement in my life. There are two books that helped me to drastically change my perceptions about money and success. I love these books so much that I reread them often. I find these keep me grounded and my head clear.
Here they are: The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind. I recommend reading the Millionaire Mind first. It contains more of the straight forward information. The Millionaire Mind builds on those concepts and give more statistical information. Both are incredibly interesting if you are into money, human behavior, or any combination of the two.
While these books deal mostly with money, each also touches on the other things that make life worth living. The millionaires are not always who you think they are. They are usually hiding in plain site. This book proves it.
People want to take control of their finances and their lives again. This is a good place to start. I found that when I switched over to a saving mentality instead of a spending mentality, that was the biggest step. Everything after that was easier. And I have never found a better tool to motivate me to change gears more than these two books. It’s difficult to dispute the numbers when they are right in front of you.
This worked for me. It will work for you.
More happiness is right around the corner waiting for you. Today is a great day to go after it.
“Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For”
Angela Christian Pope is a teacher, author and creator of Happiosity.org. Check out more on Twitter and Facebook.
I realize this question is a hot button, but hear me out.
Many things have contributed to the mess we have today such as politics, the media, popular culture, the internet, changing demographics, and a general shift in society, just to name a few. However, I believe the biggest culprit is social media. Everyone seems to have an opinion on wheat everyone else is saying or doing. People criticize the thoughts and actions of complete strangers.
Then others applaud them for doing so.
People will say things on social media that they would never say to someone’s face. I have seen some celebrities crucified for some off the most mundane things. I’m talking about things like what they wore and what they fed their children. How is that anyone else’s business? Would those people like for someone to come to their homes and tell them what to wear and what to feed their children?
It just doesn’t make sense.
We are obviously to involved in the intimate details of others people’s lives.
I believe that a great deal of the problem is that children are no longer raised with basic manners. Shows like Bad Girls (and other reality shows) glamorize bad behavior and promote the idea that being selfish and mean will bring big rewards in life. This has become so prevalent in our culture that it is the new “normal” for societal behavior. And all it does is make those production companies rich and break down our society.
Then the media often picks up on the story and slams the person even further. This is also done for ratings to make them money. The media should be there to inform us of what’s going on, not to take sides, and certainly not to make news where there really is none. Some media outlets are shameless in the stories they report as “news”.
So really, we are giving
This is supposedly the land of the free, but more and more it is becoming the land of the censored since no one is allowed to share anything or have an opinion about anything without being publicly attacked.
It sometimes make you wonder why people want to be on social media at all, and many of us actually don’t. According to Marketing Dive, 34 percent of Gen Zers are leaving social media permanently. I don’t see how that could be a bad thing.
Am I saying that all social media is bad? Not at all. But I think people can easily get carried away in a tidal wave ill will without realizing they are part of the problem, not the solution.
So lets make a pact to only say positive things and act in positive ways from now until the end of the year. Hopefully, it will become a new, wonderful habit.
The old saying, “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all” still stands. We should all embrace it.
Quick – What’s the best free thing in the world that most people usually refuse to accept? That’s right, it’s good advice. We have all been there. Heck, sometimes we ignore our own selves when it comes to good advice. Since I absorb every self help and motivational book, video, and podcast I can find, I decided to set down a list of things I would tell my best friend – and then follow that list myself. Feel free to come along.
Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For
I have not been able to trace down the author of that quote, but it is quite powerful. Every single day of your life, do something that will bring you more knowledge, improve your skills, move you towards a goal, etc. If you do a little bit each and every day, that effort will begin to add up in your life and bring you a happier and more fruitful future.
This could also be thought of as planting a seed each day. Take that cooking class. Open that business you are passionate about. Learn to code a new computer program. Go on that vacation with your family or your best friend. Spend that extra time with your loved ones. You are essentially investing in a happier you.
Start Saving and Investing Today
Compound interest is your friend. And who doesn’t want to earn interest on their interest? The earlier you get started saving and investing, the more independence and freedom you will have in life. While money doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness, the freedom and independence it provides actually does. Saving and investing money can be confusing and, therefore, scary. The best way is to automate the funds to go to various places so you never miss the money from your paycheck. Here are some good ways to get started:
If you have access to a retirement plan at work, utilize it now. If not, start an IRA. Then increase the amount you contribute to it every year. You will never miss the increases if you automate the deductions, and you will be building an impressive net worth. (Be sure to use an experienced financial planner or do your own homework before allocating those funds.)
Open an online savings account and set money to automatically transfer to it each month. (We opened up a Marcus online account and have been happily stashing money in it every month for a while now. We are saving money every month with absolutely no effort on our part.)
If you would like to go further, index funds are recommended by virtually all investment gurus. The Vanguard 500 Index is generally considered a good investment because it covers 500 of the biggest and best established companies around. It also has extremely low fees and can easily be bought through your own personal brokerage account. You can purchase EFTs one share at a time or you can buy directly into the fund for an investment of $3000 or more. You can open a Vanguard account here. To learn more about the Vanguard 500 Index click here.
Be Who You Really Are
Remember: “If I want to be free, I’ve gotta be me.”
This quote was originally by Bill Gove, but is frequently repeated by Bob Proctor, who was one of his disciples. It reminds us to always live the most original version of us. Don’t settle for just okay in your life when you can be extraordinary instead. Never think about the things you can’t accomplish, but focus on what you CAN accomplish instead. Another famous man (Henry Ford) said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t – Either way you are right.” Every day people accomplish things that were not possible, which tells me that almost anything is possible if you want it badly enough. Don’t stop growing and improving yourself every day.
Read Think and Grow Rich Every Year of Your Life
Most super successful people read as many books as possible each year. Some actually read a book each week. However, the quality of each book matters. Think and Grow Rich has become the bible of success for many people around the world because is has proved its worth over the decades since it was first published.
There are many other classic books out there to help you along your journey. I personally like anything by John Assaraf or Bob Proctor. You can also find tons of videos by them and many others on YouTube that are inspirational and life changing.
Forgive Everyone for Everything
We humans are a grudge holding bunch. Secretly, we love to revel in the terrible things that bad people do to us. Only, there’s really no such thing as a “bad person” but only bad things done by imperfect humans. You have already heard the spiel about forgiving others so you can feel better yourself. Forgiveness is for you, not them. That is completely true. But the best and most unselfish thing to do is forgive them for both of you. We are all in this together, so sometimes you have to forgive others for being human. While you are at it, extend that same courtesy to yourself.
You Don’t Need To Be Perfect
Sometimes it is easier to forgive others than ourselves. Mistakes happen to everyone and no one can ever be perfect everyday in every way. Enough said.
Live in the Present, Not the Past or the Future
This is also known as mindfulness and it has been one of my personal downfalls. It took me years to learn how to do this. I literally used to spend around 90 percent of my waking hours worrying about things in the past I couldn’t change or imagined things in the future that mostly never happened. It takes some time to retrain your brain, but you can learn to enjoy your present moment in life. And what a difference it makes!
Exercise and meditation are two of the best ways to accomplish mindfulness, as well as monitoring your thoughts and redirecting back to the present when your thoughts slip to the past or future. Of course, you can always revisit the past and plan for the future sometimes, just don’t miss the beautiful moments of the life you are living today.
Begin and End Every Single Day with Gratitude
Science has shown that positive and negative thoughts cannot exist in the brain at the same time. It is literally not physically possible. This means every time you choose to have a positive thought you are literally blocking out a potentially negative thought. Think about how powerful that can be in your life. When you start each day with gratitude, you prime your mind to think about happy, positive things all day long. Also, when you end your day with gratitude, you prime your unconscious mind for your hours of sleep. (Yes, we all know our unconscious mind keeps working even while we sleep.)
So pick three things to be grateful for when you wake up each morning and three different things when you go to bed. Writing these down in a journal is even better because you can revisit previous entries from time to time and celebrate the accumulation of good things in your life.
Exercise and Meditate Every Day
Your body needs more activity and your mind needs a break! That is true of the majority of the population anyway. When your body gets both of these things everyday (or at least most days) it balances both your body and your mind because you are feeding both exactly what they need. Stress will literally begin to melt away and your true self will begin to emerge. Your health will likely improve as well.
These articles about exercise and meditation from Harvard Health back it up.
It’s Okay to Be Successful and Happy
This one trips up a lot of people, including myself. We (I) sometimes feel like we have no right to want financial success and happiness in our lives when there’s so much poverty and misery in the world. That’s like saying some people are starving so I must starve too. That makes no sense. There must be entrepreneurs to help create jobs for others. There must be authors to inspire others. This world requires creators and developers to give the world joy and fill its needs. Without that, we would become stagnant.
The trick is to be as successful as possible, but be generous with what you have. That’s a win/win situation for everyone.
Set Detailed Goals and Write Them Down
There is a HUGE difference between “I want to retire early” and “I will retire at age 50 with a net worth of $1 million and $15,000 of monthly income.” Science has proven that people who write down their goals and make them very specific are much more likely to achieve them. It also helps to read over your goals everyday and maybe even post them on your bathroom mirror.
Everyday is a new opportunity to achieve something wonderful in your life, so don’t spend time on things unless they make you happy or get you closer to your goals.
Keep Your Eye On the Prize
Always remember what success looks like. Lots of money with no close relationships would be misery. So would being broke with lots of friends. Balance is what we all need in life, so make sure to pay attention to your health, wealth, and happiness at all times.
I have chosen this list as the most basic things to make the most of life. Feel free to add to it as needed.
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