Cleaning Up Clutter Frees Your Mind

 

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“Don’t own so much clutter that

you will be relieved

to see your house catch fire.” 

Wendell Berry

Clutter comes in many forms. The things we own and use, the stuff we keep buying, stray or random thoughts we hold on to, emotional debris from the past.

The stuff can be ultimately easy to deal with once we can get past the emotional component of why we hang onto things. Things that no longer work. Things that remind us of a better, sometimes a more difficult time. But there is emotional work. And, there are many books and site that will tell you how to de-clutter your house, desk, etc.

“A simple life Victor Moran www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

People are a little tougher than the things, as they should be. But out lives can become crowded with people we are no longer attached to, comfortable with, or are functioning on a whole different level and agenda. We should never think of people in terms of their usefulness, but, each of our lives certainly have people who don’t mean us any longterm good. People who are not pleased by our success or achievement. There may even be a few who will intentionally try to block our progress. Once again, this is an emotional minefield through which we must tread carefully. Our intention is rarely to hurt others, but distancing can be a painful process for everyone involved.

Clutter is the physical manifestation of procrastination www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

The same with our thoughts. We often ruminate things that we cannot change in our lives. We look for the angles and entry points to correct things that have already happened to us, and seek ways to change the results of past events or thinking. The short verse to this song that we play over and over in our heads is that we cannot. We can only change how we think, how we react, going forward.

Clutter is not just physical stuff.  eleanor brownn www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

 

One day at a time, we change the things we can.

Away from clutter to our authentic lives Doc www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

Doc

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Affirmation: Leaving Our Comfort Zone to Ask For Help

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Questions to AskYourself:

1. In what ways do I let others know that I am grateful for their help?

2. Why do I sometimes (or always) resist asking others for help?

3. How do I feel when other people ask me for assistance?

 

For the past two days, we have been exploring living life on our own terms. Sometimes, we are alone out of choice, and sometimes, we are not there by our own choosing, and are feeling lonely. There will be moments in all our lives when we feel the pangs of loneliness, and times when we need to withdraw to recharge or rethink. But, either way…

Life is a Contact Sport

We cannot know everything and do everything all by ourselves. Being a “Lone Ranger” may sound like an awesome concept in movies, but we do great disservice to ourselves and to those around us by walling them out, or by never stepping beyond our tiny comfort zone to touch the lives of others, or allowing them to touch us. And, sometimes, we don’t really need help with something, but it is uplifting to others to know that we have some regard for their gifts and talents.

Life really is not about us alone. And…

We do not diminish ourselves by reaching out to give or receive help Doc www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

We can learn to be strong enough to ask for help whenever we need it. By recognizing our interdependence with others we show signs of strength rather than weakness. Those around me can sense my strength of character.

We should remain humble enough to continue to learn from others. They have expertise and skills in areas where we are lacking.

We can choose to be flexible enough, and open-minded enough to try new approaches. Other people will often offer solutions different from our own.

We have the option to be wise enough to see that we need other people in our lives. We all have our own unique strengths and weaknesses. Everyone accomplishes more when the work is performed together as a team rather than trying to do everything as a solo act.

At the same time that we are contributing to the group effort, we can remain conscientious about putting forth our best efforts.

How?

Delight in letting others know how much we appreciate their help.

Find creative, and inexpensive ways to express your gratitude, such as giving a plate of homemade cookies or a thank you note when someone least expects it.

Of course, we can also learn to take every opportunity to pay back the favors we receive with assistance of our own.

 

Affirmation- Asking for help Doc

 

Doc

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Are You Comfortable with Yourself?

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The world demands busyness and frenetic energy of us. Social media demands constant “engagement” from us, although most of us are not truly engaged with each other.

It has recently been reported that people check their cell phones about 150 times a day. Let us look at this figure a little more closely. We make the assumption that people sleep. Even the most well-connected must turn off sometime during the day. That leaves us with checking ur status, or someone else’s status update 6, 10, 12 times an hour. And, the sad underbelly of these kinds of numbers is that we are not truly connected.

We bring a great deal of noise and chatter to our environments. But, why? If you look at yesterday’s post, some of it is out of loneliness. Not much happening in our real world, or not much going on to our liking, or insufficiently stimulating, so we wander in and out of the lives of other trying to fill avoid we do not understand.

 

The “Issues” with Silence and Solitude

Why do we keep up noise and chatter? I think that part of the answer lies in that fact that most people do not know how to be alone, to sit in silence with themselves, or to easily amuse themselves. It makes most of us feel uncomfortable. And, I know from experience that it can make others feel uneasy, as well.

The silence seems too oppressive when compared to the din of the television, movie streaming and satellite radio. And add to this the constant reading (actually skimming) and looking for an angle to comment on everything and anything, so that we will be noticed. The silence feels awkward when the very things we do not really want to think about and/ or address come calling. In the deafening silence there is only us and our thoughts.

“Solitude is fine... www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

Silence Can Be Beneficial

How?

Silence can help bring us back to some balance to our existence, precarious and short-lived though it might be.

The silence helps us begin to tune a more discerning ear and make conscious decisions about what we wish to spend our precious time listening to.

The silence helps us filter out what the world says we should think, say and believe, and gives us space and permission to weigh those things against what we actually believe in our hearts and spirits, and why we believe them.

Silence and solitude help us find our way through a confusing world of other people’s drama, pain, emotions and responses.

Silence helps us slow all that anxiety-producing busyness down and reconnect with ourselves.

 

There is no doubt that solitude is a challenge... www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

Spending some quality time alone is an activity that most of us do not know how to do well. We all need a little time alone every now and then to see and know what we are made of, to know and to do what we really like and to actually like, and even learn to love ourselves.

Being Alone

 

Doc

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“Are You Lonely or Just a Solitary Creature?”

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“The essential reason for my loneliness is

that I don’t even know

where I belong.”

~ Orhan Pamuk

Many people are not comfortable being alone. And many more people are made uncomfortable by those who seem to enjoy it. Once again, we begin with the definitions to understand what word really mean, and that gives us the firm foundation of discovering the truth of what we think and how we feel; especially as it relates to our own lives and our own inner journey and dialog.

Why do I start these with dictionary definitions? We live in a time when it makes most of us feel really important to appear knowledgeable and smart in front of others. So, often, we simply mimic the use of words without ever truly understanding them. The definitions are not to help us correct our friends and acquaintances, but to correct our own thinking, misunderstandings and misaligned perspectives. Now, you can go around correcting your few remaining friends if you like, but they will not appreciate it if you do it too often.

 

Let us start with definitions

Definition of lonely: 1. sad because one has no friends or company, 2. without companions; solitary, 3. (of a place) unfrequented and remote.

Definition of solitary: 1. done or existing alone, 2. (of a place) secluded or isolated, 3. a recluse or hermit.

Definition of alone: 1. having no one else present; on one’s own, 2. indicating that something is confined to the specified subject or recipient.

Today’s focus is on being lonely. If you look at the word and the definition, it comes with an emotional component. It has sadness in its very definition. And, for most of us, the sadness comes because it is not a state or condition we wish to be in at that moment. Even for the most solitary of us, there are pangs of sadness.

Being lonely is wishing that things were different than they currently are. Perhaps away from family, friends, significant others. It is however, not meant to be a permanent condition. If we are experiencing true loneliness, then there are a couple of things we can and should do about it.

 

“No man is an Island and if he is he Marlon Rico Lee www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

First, grieve for the loss. Something has changed in your life, that is a loss. We are dealing with a temporary condition. We sometimes struggle with letting our temporary, impermanent condition push us toward life-altering decisions, we would not other make. Grieving doesn’t come and go in a straight line. Allow yourself the time to deal with your feelings. See: 31 Days of Personhood: Day 3: Endings and Beginnings.

Grieve, then get up, and get on with life. What does that mean? It means that after our pity party, we think about the next step forward. Eventually, we want to fill that void with something or someone.

What is the way forward?

1. Know your own needs.

We have just left something behind, and learned valuable lessons from the whole experience, the bitter and the sweet. We have also learned a little bit more about who we are. The next thing we need to do is clarify our own wants and needs. After all, if we do not really know what we want, how will we ever recognize it when you find it?

Know thyself: Know who you are, what you want out of life, and what you absolutely do not want.

When you are able to figure out your own desires and know who you truly are, then you are much more likely to find someone or something to fulfills those desires.

2. Know your value and stick to them.

It is vital that you stand up for the values you find important. It is not impossible to have friendships and bonds with people who disagree with us, but, the foundational values that we hold dear should be shared. This may include your religious or political values, or whatever else is important to you. What are good personal values? The Importance of Personal Values and How to Find Them.

3. Know your goals.

What are your goals? Where do you plan to be in five or ten years? Hanging out with, or building strong relationships where people have very different goals will be difficult.

It is important that you have people in your life with similar goals so everyone is heading in the same general direction.

4. Be true to yourself.

It rarely works out in the longterm for friendships, or even romantic relationships, if you begin by presenting yourself as someone you are not. Eventually you will want to, or need to, drop the mask, and become your true self. So, why not make it easy on everyone, including yourself, by starting out that way.

 

Loneliness is not a desired, longterm state. It is a temporary condition, which can be worked at, if not immediately corrected. Loneliness is sadness for something lacking.

And, most importantly…

Loneliness is not the same as being

Chat tomorrow.

Doc

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“How To Manage the Seasons of Life”

Seasons of Life

 

“If we had no winter,

the spring would not be so pleasant:

if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,

prosperity would not be so welcome.”

Anne Bradstreet

 

Over on our group blog, over at Dare Whismy, we are discussing coping with the seasons of the year. This made me think more about how we cope with the changing seasons of life.

All of life is a series of transitions. Transforming in mind and body from children to adults. Working our way through elementary school, on to secondary education and then, to making a living to support ourselves. Moving from being reckless, at least in thought, teenagers, to becoming responsible adults and parents.

And, through all of these transitions and changes, we are busy finding, discovering, or re-discovering who we are. If you asked my children what I want to do when I grow up, they’d probably say, she will never grow up. :)

That may be true, but, what I have found is that there is always something new to learn. Something deeper to understand. Some new place to see and experience. New thoughts to think. New perspectives observe and ruminate over. New opportunities to pursue.

We stop growing when we stop learning, and when we stop looking at the edge of things to see what’s next. And, when we refuse to take that next step into change, whether it is at home, at work, or in a hobby you are pursuing… when we refuse to take that step, our fate is sealed. We have reached the end of that particular journey.

Life continues to change all around us. It, change, is truly the only constant in our little universe. Like many of the things we discuss here on the blog, things come down to making a simple choices. Even if they are the same ones that we make daily. Change or not. Stay or go. Do or do not.

What transition, what upheaval are you facing right now? Have you been ducking a move? Failing to answer the question? Acting as though you don’t see what is happening around you? Dragging your feet?

The basics:

  • Breathe. Avoid feeling or getting overwhelmed.
  • Focus on daily mini-goals to help you make small adjustments.
  • Reward yourself for getting it done and getting it right.

 

Every exit, an entrance...

Every exit, an entrance…

Doc

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Affirmation: Stoking the Flames of Motivation

Stoking the Flames of Motivation

 

Questions to Ask Yourself?

1. Do I know what my true goals are?

2. How strong is my motivation to achieve my life’s goals?

3. In which types of situations is it most difficult for me to feel motivated?

4. How can I pump up my motivation to continue my efforts toward accomplishing my dreams?

We have been chatting for the past few weeks about NOT getting our work done. The key roadblocks have been perfectionism, boredom and procrastination. We all suffer from any one of these on occasion. So do not feel that you are all alone. The key is to find ways to keep ourselves motivated.

External motivation is a good thing, and it is wonderful to have a great support system. But, soon or late, you are the person you must turn to to get things moving.

-All our plans and goals are but daydreaming Doc www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

 

I believe that motivation is one of the most important psychological aspects of our lives. Nearly everything we are able to achieve is accomplished because of our motivation. We have the ability to take actions that will continuously strengthen our motivation so that we can call upon it, or summon it up, almost anytime we need a additional boost.

There is a strong connection between our satisfaction about life and our ability to keep pushing forward toward our life’s goals.

Having motivation can give your life a greater sense of purpose and meaning. It also keeps you in tune with doing what is necessary to re-charge your batteries, like resting, eating well, and saying no more often, because you choose to stay motivated.

When we wake up in the morning, our first thoughts should be less about checking on the overnight status updates of our friends, and more about our current day and our overall life goals. This is a choice that we can make every morning until it becomes a habit. Don’t reach for the smartphone as soon as your eyes open. Instead, ask yourself what you can do today to continue your journey toward achieving those goals.

It is a choice to make our behavior purposeful. After reflecting on life’s goals, then you are ready to put in the necessary time and actions over the course of the day to achieve success.

The actions you choose every single day out either propel you toward a brighter future that you conceive, or they move you away from it.

 

Affirmation- Motivation Doc www.MartinaMcGowan.com

Doc

 

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Why Are You Procrastinating?

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“Procrastination is the thief of time,

collar him.”

Charles Dickens

Last week we talked about perfectionism keeping us prisoner. Yesterday, we covered uninspired boredom. Either of these fit you too well? If not, we still need to talk about procrastination. That should pick up a few more people who cannot figure out why they never seem to point “B” or “C.”

What is Procrastination?

Let us begin with a clear definition, and that should give us some clearer insights into what it is and why we do it. Procrastination is the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.

The very definition of the word assumes a couple of things. First that whatever we are not doing needs to be attended to, that it is important, or at least needs timely attention. The second is that we need to do it, not someone else. And, the third, which is where I think most of us get stuck, is that we want to, or are required to do it.

So, if what you if you should be doing something other than reading this, and that something meets all of the above criteria, then I am sorry to inform you that you are indeed procrastinating. The criterion, again… you need to do it yourself, now!

Procrastination is a habit that kills our productivity and robs us of the successes we wish to experience. When we fall into the chronic habit of putting off until later what we are capable of handling now, we only succeed in multiplying our stress. The things we drag our feet to do and put off rarely sort themselves out by the time we finally get to them. And, the molehills of life often turn into mountains as a result.

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“You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet.

You have to be in the right mood.

What mood is that?

Last-minute panic.”

~ Bill Watterson

It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

Instead, we can experience a life with less feeling of drudgery, and one with more abundant joy and peace simply by making the decision to take actions on a consistent basis. It will make you feel more decisive and confident, and you will find that you are able to move through your schedule more efficiently and effectively. Here are a few quick tips:

1. One-minute rule.

Throughout the day, your mind will work to bring to your attention back to things that you need to accomplish. As you think of these things, write them down. If the task takes less than a minute to complete, why not just do it now and get it over with? This step alone will help you feel productive.

2. De-Clutter.

Most of us don’t realize how much of a drain clutter is a drain on our mental energy. A junk-free environment promotes action, while cluttered space fuels procrastination. Try spending just to spending minutes per day straightening up your home or office. In those 10 minutes, throw away as many pieces of papers and things that you do not need as you possibly can. This will eliminate some wasted time shuffling things around looking for what you want or need. Also remember that the things that clutter your space are robbing you of your peace of mind. Reclaim that peace by reclaiming your space.

3. Get some help.

If you find that your procrastination is due to your lack of organization, a professional can quickly help you regain control. An organization professional is the fastest way to turn a life of chaos into complete order.

4. Figure our why you are procrastinating.

Ask yourself questions to determine the reason for your indecision. Every form of procrastination is really a delayed decision. Do you need more information to make the right choice? Is there a fear that you are avoiding? Is the task unpleasant? Does someone else need to take care of it? Once you know what is truly standing in your way, you can learn ways to deal with it, get past it and get back to work.

5. Chunk it down.

Most large jobs can be broken down into smaller, bite-sized pieces. List the action steps for your project. Make each step something that can be accomplished in a single short session of work. Focus on one small task at a time to keep you from feeling overwhelmed, and complete the tasks on your list one by one until the project is completed.

6. Celebrate.

Sometimes, the tasks we must complete are simply boring and provide little, if any, immediate payoff. If the job still has to get done, but you are having difficulty getting yourself moving, try bribing yourself with a small reward for completing the task. A warm bubble bath, your favorite movie, or indulging in your favorite hobby are possible rewards.

These are each simple things to begin to put into practice. Try a few of them and work at beating back your tendencies toward procrastination. We can learn from our feelings of hesitation, and still not allow those feelings to stop us from experiencing the successes of life.

“A year from now you may wish you had started today karen lamb www.MartinaMcGowan.com

Boxing in our boredom, and reigning in our self-sabotaging procrastination, should help us keep on track. Tomorrow… motivation.

Doc

 

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“What Keeps You From Your Goals?”

 

“When you feel perpetually unmotivated, Ingmar Bergman www.MartinaMcGowan.con

 

For the last few weeks we have been banging on about perfectionism being a major stumbling block for many of us.

Read here: Is Perfectionism Causing You to Miss Out on Life’s Joy? and Is Perfectionism Keeping You From Trying?.

We let the need to tweak, and fix, and “gild the lily” keep us from accomplishing more, and sometime from even beginning a project. But there are other things that stop us as well.

 

Bored and Uninspired.

If we do not feel some kind of thrill when we prepare to do something, even if it is work, we will not give our best. In fact, if we are bored enough, we will not give it anything. For work, for many of us, this means “dialing in” our performance. We sleepwalk through major parts of our existence. We convince ourselves that putting more life into whatever it is, will not make any difference. And, it certainly won’t bring us joy.

Rather than turning to gold, we are concerned that it will all turn to brass or ashes beneath our touch.

“People are not lazy, they simply have Tony Robbins www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

The issue is not usually the goal itself, but a loss of vision or perspective about why the goal may be, or may have been important to us. Not everything we do in life will be dazzling. In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, most of it won’t be. But, that does not mean that we cannot bring dazzle, sparkle, imagination and life to the things we do.

When we feel the most bored, the most uninspired, we need to look for a way forward. For boredom, the best first step is to find a temporary “why” and a temporary “how.”

What does that mean?

Hate your job? It pays the bills until you can find something better. Do a great job until you find something more to your liking. This is a temporary “why.” The alternative, is to find things that inspire you outside of your work schedule. A new hobby, a new sport. Something that uses your hands instead of your mind, or the the other way around.

Hate housekeeping? Hire someone once a month, once every two weeks to get a jump start. Start getting rid of the clutter. Even if it is one small boxful at a time. This is a temporary “how.”

 

-Our souls require feeding.  nourishment Doc www.MartinaMcGowan.com

Doc

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“Perfectionism Cannot Keep You From Failing. But It May Keep You From Trying.”

“Understanding the difference between brene brown www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

Perfection is like a box that keeps us coloring within the lines of life. We grow to feel that if the “drawing” will not be perfect, there is no reason to attempt it. Failure, or the notion that we might do something that e’d ultimately fail at is well outside of this box. Comfort is in knowing exactly what to do, and the expected outcome. But, it stunts our creativity to stay on this small space.

“Perfectionism is the voice of the anne lamott www.MartinaMcGowan.com

What happens when a perfectionist fails, or think they might fail?

Most often, they/ we withdraw back into that cocoon of safety, or remove ourselves from the activity. We become too busy, too distracted, too anything to deal “properly” with the task at hand. We go off and do something else, which will be “perfect.”

But there are two very important upsides to failures that we miss trying to avoid the possibility of someone seeing us at “less-than-perfect.”

First: We learn about life and other people.

Life is rarely perfect, and even more rarely absolutely predictable. Life just is. And we learn how to make adjustments to what is happening in the environment. All things within the environment: people, places and things. We have the opportunity to observe and to learn something new.

Second: We learn about ourselves.

We learn that we can or cannot make certain adjustments. We learn how far we will go to accomplish something. How far we will be pushed or goaded.

We also learn to be creative. Since most of life will be something unexpected, we dig deep and find ways to create something more to our liking. We learn that we can create, and if we take that a step further, we can experience and use that creative force in many areas of our lives.

We learn that we can think more broadly, and differently. We learn to see ourselves in new lights.

We learn that we can do things that are a bit different., a little off-routine. And with that comes a great deal of freedom.

 

“Perfectionism doesn't believe in julia cameron www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

Opening ourselves up to the possibility, if not probability, of failure drive us to change; to rethink things. Tp change our plan, change ourselves, and even consider changing ourselves.

Doc

 

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Affirmation: Selfish, Selfless, and Being of Service

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Questions to ask yourself:

1. Do I carry with me the spirit of helping others?

2. When did I last offer help to someone?

3. How well do I understand the interaction between extending a helping hand and enjoying a great life?

 

For the past two days, we have talked about the extremes of human nature and interaction, being absolutely selfish and absolutely selfless. Check those two post out here: What does it mean to be selfish?  and, What does it mean to be selfless?

 

Real everyday life happens for us somewhere between these two extremes. Somewhere along this continuum we find ourselves, and we attempt to actively make good choices, while putting some choices away, or aside, day in and day out. Sometimes we balance things in our favor, and sometimes in the favor of another.

So, the question we put to ourselves today is, how do we get our own best blend of our selfish natures combined with our desire to have an more unselfish nature? I think that every one of us wishes to survive, and even feel as though we are thriving, but not to the point of diminishing others. I believe these two natures come together under the heading of service. Service to ourselves and service to others. Because we know that when we are our best selves, when we are acting in integrity and with good motives, and when we can also empower and respect others to be at their best as well, everything and everyone flourishes.

The Fruit os Service...

The Fruit os Service…

 

What we are after is ultimately, peace. Peace with ourselves and peace with others.

We all live very full live. Working, relating with your partner, and spending time with your children can consume most of your waking  hours. Still, we should be on the lookout for opportunities to extend a helping hand to another human being.

I personally find that when I make the time to help others, my life gets better and better.

Each day brings new opportunities to help.

Pitching in to help strengthens our connection to life. My life seems to light up whenever I can assist someone else. The more I put into helping others, the more I receive back from it.

How will you do this?

Watch for people who need help in your home, your neighborhood, your church, or your workplace. Even places like the grocery store or dry cleaners can provide you with golden opportunities to give someone a helping hand. Your life will continue to flourish because of your helpful nature.

 

Doc

Doc

Doc

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“Are You Being too Selfless?”

1

 

It is often said that many of the things we dislike in other people, are characteristics which we ourselves have. Ironic, isn’t it. If we look deeply into some of our actions and the underlying motives, we may find a thing or two that come across as red flags.

Yesterday, in “Are You a Selfish Individual?” we talked about some of the issues involved in being overly selfish and self-centered. We would all love to think this is not the person other’s see in us, but it is certainly worth a peek. We must remember that we are human, and we do not always act out of altruistic motives. And, sometimes that is okay. Today, we will switch gears and look at the other end of the spectrum selflessness.

What does it mean to be selfless?

Beginning with the dictionary definition, it means having little or no concern for oneself. The dictionary picks out a few specific areas, fame, position, and money, but there are many others.

It means to empower other, and to be sure that other people get the credit due them. These people tend to forgive and forget easily. Or, at least to “let things slide” more often. They are concerned with how others feel, and work at not hurting anyone unnecessarily.

Selflessness is often attributed to servant leaders, and people such as Mother Teresa, and is a wonderful quality to have. But, for most of us, there is a limit. There is a limit to never taking any credit for yourself. There is a limit to always placing the interests of others ahead of our own.

How do you define success?

The way in which we define success, ultimately, is an internal decision. What does that mean? Read: Affirmation: The Definition of Success

Happiness and Success

Happiness and Success

At some level, everyone wants to succeed in life. We do not all wish to succeed at the same things, but we all want to consider ourselves a success at something. We do not all define success in the same manner, so getting credit for every single thing that we touch is not important. However, there are some things for which we should gladly accept credit. There are things we do and understand better than others. There are things we do well and that are important to us, our families and our communities. There are accomplishments of which we should be proud.

Are you at risk of giving all of your power away?

Being proud of yourself and speaking up for yourself do not make you selfish, unless you do it all the time, and never give credit or accolades to others. These things make you a normal human being who wants to get noticed in the world every now and then. And so you should.

Tomorrow, we will look at the tension between our selfish and unselfish parts,  and talk about moving forward.

 

Doc

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“Are You a Selfish Individual?”

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We have all been in the presence of people who are both selfish and selfless. Hopefully, we find ourselves standing on some middle ground. Like many other things in life, ultimately what we seek is balance. Even though it may be temporary, and sometimes elusive, balance is what we keep trying to get back to. So, as we move forward this week,  let us take a deeper look at selfishness, selflessness, and what gray areas between them.

What characteristics make someone selfish? Or, appear selfish?

If we begin with the simplest of dictionary definitions, selfish people are solely devoted to their own care. They are firmly focused on, and always working for their benefit and interests. This they do, often without regard to other peoples feeling, time or agenda.

“I”

They use the word “I” often. Even when the conversation is not about them, they are the embodiment of a “Me first” attitude. All conversations and subject matter somehow gets diverted to something that they have done better, more brilliantly, or to greater acclaim. And, as often when we try to move the conversation in a different direction, it always seems to come back to them. This is one of the fun and interesting things to observe about people’s behavior when you are not caught up in the conversation, and a are truly in a listening mode. Time and again, the subject matter, which they may have no real knowledge of, spins back to them.

People as Objects

People are viewed as  tools to be used, or rungs on a ladder that must be climbed over. Because these people are primarily self-focused, like in the above conversation, people and situations are to be manipulated and moved around for their welfare. This can require a great deal of scheming and plotting, which sounds tiresome to me. However, many selfish individuals become so skilled at it, that it becomes almost their second nature. They may not even realize they are doing it all the time. But, they do know their true agenda; it is themselves. And they are always working to pursue or push it.

Self-Esteem is an Issue

Ironically, although they always seem to be trying to point the spotlight back at themselves non-stop, the sad thing is that many of these people tend to have low self-esteem. Ironic because it is the exact opposite of what they are working to portray to the world. But, their main focus in almost all of their interactions is to be noticed.

The question is, could this be me?

Tomorrow, we will learn about the opposite: Selflessness.

 

Selfishness

Selfishness

 

Doc

 

Photo Credit: Paul Robertson via Compfight cc

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Is Perfectionism Causing You to Miss Out on Life’s Joy?

A "card" on its journey to becoming ...

A “card” on its journey to becoming …

On our weekly hangout at DareWhimsy.com, we did a craft, online, live, together. We did it for Mother’s Day, but it is a craft that could be used for any occasion, or non-occasion.

It was a bit challenging, but it was fun to gather and share the time together engrossed in something other than our own trials.

We talked briefly about Mother’s Day, and the very different connotations it has for everyone. Like all the other holidays, it has its ups and downs. Bitter and sweet moments.

But, the holiday, Mother’s Day or otherwise, and the specific craft- trying to make a card online, were all part of much larger conversations about a couple of the issues we each really need to talk about much more often.

Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a difficult burden, and an unachievable goal. But we all drive ourselves nuts trying to be at our most perfect best all the time. We cannot sustain the energy of being “on” all the time. We are human, and we will stumble and fall. And, stumbling is okay, especially if we have people around us who love and support us- as we really are, and for who we truly are.

 

New Terrarium Seeking Equilibrium

New Terrarium Seeking Equilibrium

 

Will this new terrarium get established and survive? I do not know. But the peace and joy were found in the trying… and trying again. And, learning from each step.

Perfectionism causes us to miss out on many opportunities in life for simple joy. The pleasure of laughter and company and gathering and nurturing one another. Which brings me to my second point…

Care

Life is difficult on some level for each of us, often. Good day, bad days, really tough days. The most important way we can demonstrate our care for each other is often in the tiniest of gestures.

Showing up. Sending a card. A brief text. A phone call. Send an unexpected gift. It is presence, and the feeling of presence, of other people that we long for. Someone who will walk beside us during this journey.

So, whether you are a natural mother or not, your mother is alive or not, you have been nurtured by a community of women, or just by one special person, or, you have decided that you were raised by wolves, seek someone out today to show them that you care, and that they are cared for.

Just a small dose of caring for someone else may make their day or week. It may even set your world right.

 

In order to free  ourselves, to allow perfect perfectionism Doc www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

Doc

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Affirmation: Anxiety and Peace

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Questions to ask yourself:

1. How do I deal with anxiety? Could I use some extra peace in my life?

2. Do others feel that I trivialize matters when I allow my peace to eliminate worry?

3. How can I help others achieve the same sense of peace?

 

For the past two days, we have talked about the connection between our worrying and anxiety, and our feelings of inner peace. See: “Feeling Lost on Your Way to Peace of Mind?” and “Is Your Peace of Mind A Prisoner to Your Social Anxiety?”

We cannot trivialize our feelings of dis-ease or lack of peace, but we can learn better ways of coping with them. We can look for ways to try to get parts of our world back into, and keep them in their proper perspective.

Our first task is to recognize when things are not feeling “right.” From here, we check in with ourselves often, and then make a plan to do something about it.

It is a glib suggestion that everyone can just go out and get a new job that they love. This will work for a few of us, but more importantly, the majority of us have to find ways to cope with whats going on, and couple that with ways to release the anxiety and tension.

Coping with the real world

When I am worried or anxious, I make an effort to remind myself that I am carrying unbreakable peace deep within me. This reminder helps me to immediately relinquish my tense feelings and experience true inner calmness.

The peace that abides within me is enough to allow me to calmly walk away from confrontational situations. When someone approaches me with a harsh tone or angry words, I maintain my cool from deep down and not just on the surface.

I know that this same inner peace can help me deal with even the hardest losses. It already has on many occasions.

If a loved one is ailing, I admit I concern.

My inner peace helps me to feel contentment,  that I have all I really need to make the most out of the life I have been given.

I know that my inner peace is genuine. It makes the difference between living a dissatisfying life and experiencing true happiness.

 

Affirmation- Peace abides within me to www.MartinaMcGowan.com

 

Doc

Photo Credit: Paul ??? Li via Compfight cc

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