Category: Fun

Manufacturing Happiness

“Happiness is. . . 
whatever, whomever, 
and whenever
you choose.” 
 
— Albert K. Strong 
 

[Classic post from 4-16-16]

This wonderful, delightful, soothing, serene morning is a perfect time to share this tidbit from Abraham, Esther Hicks:

“Sometimes you manufacture scenarios and put them in your own way just to prove a point. It is as if you would rather be right than happy. When you catch yourself doing that stop and say, “This unpleasant thought is unnecessary.” Then choose one that feels better.” 

Of Course! 

Spread Some Joy Today–by getting out of your own way.

Young At Heart

“All people on the planet are children, 
except for a very few. 
No one is grown up 
except those free of desire.” 
 
— Rumi 
 

[Classic post from 4-4-16]

Spring is a statement of youth regardless of age. There is something about spring that causes me to have more of a sense of wonder, feel more alive. The leaves appearing and filling the empty trees, the freshness of the air after a shower, green grass growing all around, are all delightful signs of spring to me. It seems like everything is in bloom, and it fills my heart with joy and song.

Oliver Wendell Holmes said a couple of things about age. He said, “To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.” He also kept old age away from him with this quip: “Old age is fifteen years older than I am.” I can relate to both of these in that I have more joy in my life now than I did when I was forty, and I just don't see myself as old as the number of years I've lived.

In 1953, Lyricist Carolyn Leigh wrote lyrics to a tune that Johnny Richards had put together as an instrumental. That same year, Frank Sinatra, the first to record it, made it a million-seller that year, with many recording artists even up to today who are still recording it. This song is like eternal spring to me because it applies to each individual alone as their own choice of how they will look upon and receive from life. Whether you're single or married, 50 or 90, it works for all who are willing to live by the powerful words and sentiment.

The first verse goes like this: “Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you, if you're young at heart. For it's hard you will find, to be narrow of mind, if you're young at heart.” And the last verse reminds us all, “And if you should survive to a hundred and five, look at all you'll derive out of being alive! And here is the best part, you have a head start, if you are among the very young at heart.” The song title is, of course, Young At Heart. When I hear it in my head, Jimmy Durante is singing it. He is the master of the talk-sing style of singing, and I just love his style.

How old are you in your heart? How young are you in your mind? The body changes, but the heart and the mind are free of the body. I'm not as flexible or trim as I was when I was 35, but there is my heart and there is my mind. Even in my forties and early fifties, I wasn't as prime in my body as I was in my heart, so nothing has changed there! The me that I am is not attached to my body at all. I am young at heart and joyful in mind and I intend to stay there no matter how old my body becomes, and I'm wishing you the same! 

Jimmy Durante rendition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9RchGMmizg 

We Are Only As Young Or Old As We Think. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by letting go of that old, tired, boring, contrary rope of resistance. Yes. Just let it go. Feel the joy filling all that space? Yes. It was there all the time, just waiting for you to let go of all those troubles.

Are We There Yet?

“The destination
is not the reason for the journey. 
The journey 
is the reason for the destination.” 
 
— Albert K. Strong 
 

[Classic post from 2-7-16]

Sometimes we might think that the destination is the real journey, but the real journey is the journey itself. The destination is something we just throw out there thinking it is like a carrot in front of a horse; something to drive us to endure the journey in order to arrive at the destination which is what we say we want or need. Rather, I think this makes life not worth living, and indeed, not worth enjoying. However, if we focus on enjoying the journey moment by moment then the destination is not very important in the scheme of our living our lives.

When we are focused on the destination, we have a tendency to wonder, are we there yet? How much longer before we get there? What is our daily progress and does it show that we are on track to reach our destination in the time we have allotted? What are the roadblocks or potential roadblocks that may slow my progress or put me off course? Am I on course? Why is it taking so long? I have to really pour it on because I am behind. The competition is on my tail, so I have to move faster. I have to work late and give up some of my family time if I’m ever going to get to this crazy big goal. I’ll have to work weekends too. But once I get to the goal, the rewards will be worth the sacrifices. I want this so badly, and the prize goes to the one that is willing to do whatever is necessary to arrive a victor. I’m going to win. I will do what it takes. Nobody will work as hard as me.

That last paragraph is all destination thinking. The goal is everything. The doing or the journey is whatever it takes to get there. Whatever it takes. Consider that phrase. Whatever it takes. Hmmm. 

Some think that success is to them being the victor, winning the prize, reaching the holy grail of the destination. There’s a lot of that going on. It’s okay to do and be that, of course. It’s one way to live. But it is very much fear-related. Fear of not making it, having to pour it on, watching the competition, and so on.

Let’s juxtapose that with a love-related approach. I love what I do. I enjoy every moment of it. I love who I work with. I love the products and services that I am involved with. I love the sky today. I love the smell of the air this morning. Those clouds are so interesting. There is magic all around me. I am loving this journey. It is fun. I get such a kick out of playing this game. I know it is a game, and it doesn’t rule my life, and I do love playing. I’m such a kid in my heart and mind. I wonder what I will learn today? There is much to do, but I have time and energy, and I have help whenever I ask for it. What can I do to help make this journey more fun and rewarding for my boss and coworkers? My family? My customers? I love this so much I would do it for free (but I think I’ll keep that thought to myself. . .). There is so much to see, touch, feel, smell, and enjoy along the way.

The destination is on both agendas. Which one do you suppose is aware that the journey is the reason for the destination?

Loving Our Lives Moment By Moment On The Trail To All Of Those Important Destinations. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving your journey all day every day.

Happiness Is A Simple Harmony

“But what is happiness 
except the simple harmony 
between a man 
and the life he leads?” 
 
— Albert Camus 
 

[Classic post from 3-11-16]

I was first introduced to Jim Rohn when I was 31 years old and was on the verge of a dramatic change in my life. I loved him immediately. Since then, I’ve read pretty much all his books, listened to so many of his audio programs, when they were on cassette tapes. They are long gone, loaned and evaporated, and I can only hope that whoever has touched them, got even a tenth of what I got out of them, having listened to them many times.

I often quote Jim because he is so dang quotable. He became a master of personal development, didn’t mince words, telling it like it is from his own struggles and journey. What a delight he has been to me, and I never met him in person. I am so grateful to Rod who convinced me to get involved in Shaklee, a multi-level marketing program because he gave me the very first tape where I heard Jim Rohn speaking to a group of distributors and managers in another such company in Dallas, Texas. I played it over and over again, finally transcribing it to print.

During my thirties, I bought many of his audio programs, then from Nightingale-Conant. They were pricey, but I couldn’t wait to get the next one. Then a couple of days ago, I noticed one of the best programs was available from Audible.com, titled, The Power of Ambition. I’ve been loving listening to his simple and yet exquisite wisdom and common sense all over again on my iPhone.

Early in the program, he refers to Ben Franklin, one of the founding fathers of our constitution, whose wisdom in the mid-1700s was well known in his Poor Richard’s Almanac writings, and his ideas and methods have stood the test of time; albeit, many are probably unaware.

Jim shared three of Ben’s principles on success, and I delight in sharing them here.

1. “Happiness doesn’t come from big pieces of great success, but from small advantages hammered out day by day.” Jim interprets this as there is no way to happiness, but happiness is the way. He says that you have to be happy the way you are, the way things are, with your life right now, even while in pursuit of something that you want different from where you are. To say, I will be happy when. . . is to be unhappy now. He said that when you get that big goal, you won’t be any happier than whatever happiness you have now, and reminds us that Abraham Lincoln said that we will be as happy as we choose to be at any given time.

2. “Life is plastic.” In other words, it is moldable, changeable, and can be remade again and again to suit our desires. We have such flexibility. We can change our minds. We can change our direction. We can change our environment. We can change. This is something worth celebrating. We are not static. We are plastic.

3. “Success is pleasure.” Jim says, we need to enjoy our travels, enjoy what we do, smell the roses, have fun along the way. We need to enjoy ourselves as we live our lives. I love the quote above from Albert Camus and it fits so nicely right here: “But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?” Simple harmony. Enjoying ourselves. In alignment. Going with the flow. Not resisting, yet persisting with pleasure.

What is interesting to me as I have shared just a glimpse of part of my own journey is that I didn’t get these teachings in my thirties. I wanted to get them, but I was focused too much on something I shared the other day. I was focused on the problems, what was not right yet, feeling sorry for myself, wishing things would change, and much more. Then I would periodically take charge and get some movement.

Now I get this. Now it is the way I live. The problems are still problems, but I have learned to be happy and grateful along the way. I have learned that I can change any time I make a decision to do so. And, I have learned to do what I love to do–to enjoy my work, my life, and all the world around me. I created where I am, and I am pleased.

Thank You, Jim Rohn. You Have Made A Difference In Me And A Few Million Others Too. Your Legacy Lives On. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by paying attention to the joy that is available within you. That Source will never run dry. Not even a hiccup. There’s only one instruction. We have to allow it. We control it completely. No one outside of ourselves could ever control it. The valve is inside.

My Awareness Of My Changing Perspective

“What you see 
is more often than not 
what you put there.” 
 
— Albert K. Strong 
 

[Classic post from 3-13-16]

My learning and experience often lead me on a trail where one thing leads me to another and another and so on. When I've exhausted the trail, I move to something else.

This last week I finished a memoir of Penny Marshall, and in that memoir, she talked about most of the movies she directed and/or produced and there were many interesting things I learned about them. Having watched all of those movies at some time in the past, I thought I would rewatch a few of them. Last night, I watched Renaissance Man with Danny DeVito in the lead, with Gregory Hines, and one of the actors was a very young Mark Wahlberg.

I looked at the ratings and they were not very good, although it did get a one thumbs up from the Roger & Ebert team. Rotten Tomatoes only gave it 17% out of 100%. It fascinates me how many times I've seen a movie that had terrible ratings that I have loved with enthusiasm. It's definitely in the eyes of the beholder.

I originally rated this 3-stars on Netflix and now I rate it as 5-stars. The difference? Me. The movie didn't change. I did. In fact, in many of the movies that I have rewatched, I find a similar change and even a few in the other direction.

It's not the movie, it is what we bring to the movie. And, what is really fascinating to me is that this particular movie is exactly about that kind of thing. What Danny DeVito's character brings to the classroom is how the class demonstrates itself. Then, one dinky little pinhole of heart comes through, and step by step; albeit, some emotionally painful, he changes, the class changes one by one, and the entire big picture changes along the way.

It is so often what we bring when we go to a play, movie, lecture, meeting, or event that dictates what we see while we are there. We have some of our own baggage that we drag around to work, back home again, to events, and so on. Many may be things or events or experiences that we don't really want to participate in. That hides the real value we could get out of it.

In the movie, the pinhole I referred to was Danny sensing the true humanity behind the cocky, arrogant, seemingly stupid students. That wasn't enough to make a change in Danny or the students because they've built such a protective fortress around them over many years, but it was enough to let just enough light in to begin the process of change–to demonstrate the potential of this event as being considerably different than the early stages indicated.

Why I changed from a 3-star to a 5-star is because I've changed since I watched the movie before. I also learned more about the making of the movie, how Danny DeVito came to be in the lead, and more. I brought different eyes and ears to this particular event, and I saw and heard different things. They seemingly were not there before, and yet they were because nothing changed in the 1994 movie. The only change was in me. I saw with different eyes. I brought different values with me. I had refined ears. I brought a sense of appreciation with me, and what I saw was unique to me now in 2016.

From Just Another Movie To Seeing Life Unfolding Within Me.

Spread Some Joy Today–by paying attention to what you are bringing along with you. The less you bring, the more the opportunity for joy.

More Knowledge Expands The Mystery

“As we acquire more knowledge, 
things do not become more comprehensible, 
but more mysterious.”
 
— Albert Schweitzer 
 

[Classic post from 3-6-16]

Oh, how I have found this great quote to be true! Things that I used to take for granted, which was pretty much everything that I would see or hear or smell or touch, now so often simply amaze me.

I have learned so much from so many hundreds of books, audio, and video programs, and yet, this often demonstrates to me how little I know in that way, and at the same time, how much I know within myself that I only find in bits and pieces.

I find myself looking at the sky a lot. I am amazed at the display even when it is all one big expanse of blue, and enjoy it when the blue is intermixed with every kind of cloud, and even when it is gray and comes with lightning, thunder, rain, and other types of storming. It is alive and constantly changing.

The new growth on the plants, birds chasing each other, taking baths, pecking the ground, picking off berries from bushes and trees, taking a break from eating to sit together in a bush and chat away loudly while I relish the beautiful noise. It's a few days away from the official announcement of Spring and this year it seems to have started a month ago.

John Burroughs joins me saying it this way: “To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”

To me, it is even more elaborate. I find so much to feel joy from as I look around me now. I find almost nothing to not be in joy about. I find so much to realize that I am amazed at and in awe of, and almost nothing that is not in that place.

What started some years back as a thankful thought became a grateful heart, and what began then as simple praise became awe and wonder. I am still learning, and yet the more I seem to learn, the more wonder I see around me. The more I praise God or the Universe for all of this, and my own awareness of it, the more I see God everywhere I look–including in the mirror, as I am part of the awe. Albert Schweitzer says, “He who does not reflect his life back to God in gratitude does not know himself.”

“As We Understand Life In Ourselves, We Want To Understand Life In The Universe, In Order To Enter Into Harmony With It.” — Albert Schweitzer 

Spread Some Joy Today–by recognizing the joy that is already in and around you.

Life-Changing Events Are Often Subtle

“An eye is meant to see things. 
The soul is here for its own joy.” 
 
— Rumi 
 

[Classic post from 3-21-16]

Progress is not always obvious. You know how you see a child and then don't see them again until a year later, or maybe two? That progress is entirely obvious. But, when we're living in ourselves, changes often seem more subtle, until one day, something strikes you and you are amazed at the change within that you weren't noticing before. That happened to me again yesterday.

A light rain came for part of the day, and as it began, the sound was so refreshing and I got up from my desk and went out under the carport and watched the rain falling into the birdbath, and dancing on the glistening leaves. I was in awe of it. I was totally present and I felt so at peace and so loved and so good. I stood there for quite some time and was absorbing as much of it as I could without thinking. 

Normally, I'm thinking very quickly about things. Even though I am noticing the feeling of the rain, and enjoying it, and appreciating it, I would be thinking too. This time, I didn't start thinking until I stopped being present in the rain. The difference was huge. It was then that I realized that I had grown like the child being away for a couple of years.

As I thought about that, I noticed too that I am laughing a lot. In fact, I'm laughing so many times throughout the day simply enjoying funny things, parts of movies, something on Facebook or YouTube, or in the newspaper. My appreciation for things around me has grown as well. I guess I might describe it as joy. Many times as I'm thinking about something I find that I have a huge smile on my face, but it is as though I am smiling from the inside out, sort of like my whole body is smiling. It's an interesting feeling–fascinating, really.

I remember Abraham, Esther Hicks saying that the levels of joy are endless. The happier I get, the happier I get. I'm amazed by it. I'm enjoying it. Even as I do my best to share that, I can only hope that it comes across the way it feels.

So here's hope for everyone. The more you find to be happy about, the more you find to laugh about, enjoy, appreciate, be in awe over, be amazed at, the more of that is attracted to you. I'm living proof.

Allow Your Enjoyment To Find More Expression. Be Amazed. 

Spread Some Joy Today–because after a while, you just can't help yourself.

We Don’t See Out. We See In.

“Our eyes do not see out,
they see in.”

— Albert K. Strong

[New post]

Our personal perspective is said to be what and how we see something. I think it equally is applied to what we hear.

What we see or hear does not create our perspective. Our eyes and ears are not like bots going out to retrieve information. Instead, they are receivers or receptacles. We don't see out, we see in.

Quite often, we may think that if that thing or situation, or something written, or heard were to change to be more to our liking, this would benefit us. It cannot. This is because that which is being received is filtered through our inside and that which is inside of us creates our perspective.

In other words, we must own our perspective because it is our own and it comes from inside of us and not from the outside, other people, events, and more. Trying to change our perspective by trying to change the light and sound coming into us is a complete waste of time and energy. It cannot succeed. We can only change our perspective by changing one or more things within us.

Our perspective is an accumulation of our experiences, our training, and our thoughts, throughout our lives. Changing our perspective can only be accomplished by modifying those filters that filter all the light and sound we receive.

As we become willing to own our own perspective and choose at will to mold it to our liking, we gain control of our lives in a way that is so empowering.

One of my favorite Abraham, Esther Hicks affirming quotes speaks to this exactly:

“Today, no matter where I am going and no matter what I am doing, it is my dominant intent to see that which I wanting to see.”

Knowing. Not Knowing. Both Work.

“Don’t measure your readiness 
by what you don’t know.” 
— Mike Dooley

[Classic post from 4-3-16]

I woke up this morning realizing that I am still here in this time-space reality we call life and living, and what an interesting journey it has been thus far. I have no idea how many more days, weeks, months, years will come to pass for me to experience, but it is good to sometimes look at an overview of what has accumulated to date.

Then, at my desk, I saw the quote above that I had gleaned from a video that Mike Dooley had recently done. It caused me to think about our capacity for change, to brave the unknown, to find new things and new ways and new experiences.

Easily one of the most dramatic changes in my life was going into business in January 2008. We are now in our 9th year (now our 14th) and that seems amazing to me. Who knew?

When it came to readiness, I wasn’t ready, and then in some way, I was. I felt like I had to make a change, and it would need to be a dramatic change. I didn’t have time to figure it out. I couldn’t wait for the perfect weather, or the complete knowledge and skill, but I knew I could learn. In fact, at the time this decision came about, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I knew for sure that I could do it. Naivete helped me to be bold enough to not know and jump anyway.

It has been a tumultuous journey, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. As an experience, it is alive and growing to me and it has worked out in interesting ways; albeit, far off the original idea of how it would play. I think this probably happens every time we do new things. We learn as we go, and that is okay.

How can one get ready for the unknown? Even with some ideas of how it will look and feel, the unknown will still challenge. And, that challenge–those challenges–will call us to grow and to become.

Conformity is death to growth. Following orders is the death of creativity. Each of us is unique, and yet, we often go with the flow of what we have been taught as the way to do things, all the while inside we crave acting out and sharing our uniqueness.

Are you acting out and sharing your uniqueness? If not, perhaps you need a little bit of the unknown to help you remember. I think there are a lot of ways to realize and share our uniqueness and they often do not require as dramatic a series of changes as I just briefly described. Nonetheless, I think that it is our uniqueness that is always craving to be expressed and when allowed to roam around openly with us, speaks volumes on growth, and loving life.

No Need To Worry. God Will Catch You. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by releasing that you that you’ve been keeping private. What a blast that will be to let that puppy out!

A Day Of Silence Can Be…

Silence

A day of Silence
Can be a pilgrimage in itself.

A day of Silence
Can help you listen
To the Soul play
It's marvelous lute and drum.

Is not most talking
A crazed defense of a crumbling fort?

I thought we came here
To surrender in Silence,

To yield to Light and Happiness,

To Dance within
In celebration of Love's Victory!

— Hafiz
Transl. by Daniel Ladinsky

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